New Backstreet Boys album due in October
DETROIT/NEW YORK (Billboard) - Backstreet Boys announced Tuesday that it will release its ninth album, "This Is Us," October 6.
The lead single, "Straight Through My Heart," has just been released to radio and can be heard on the group's MySpace page (www.myspace.com/backstreetboys ).
The 11-track Jive Records set follows the Backstreet Boys' platinum-certified 2005 reunion album, "Never Gone," and 2007's "Unbreakable," which sold 1.7 million copies worldwide but less than 150,000 in the U.S.
Group members Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and AJ McLean contributed to the writing and producing of "This Is Us," joined by original Backstreet Boys hitmaker Max Martin, T-Pain, RedOne, Soulshock & Karlin, Jim Jonsin and Claude Kelly.
"We always try to set the bar as high as possible," Dorough told Billboard.com. "We've always been a pop/R&B group. We focus our songs around good melodies and group harmonies, and hopefully that will have a lot of staying power."
Backstreet Boys has sold more than 76 million albums worldwide in the 12-plus years since the group debuted. And while the pop quartet is no longer the multiplatinum concern it was in the late '90s and early 2000s, Dorough said he and his groupmates remain confident about their place in the pop landscape.
"I think every artist who wants to be around for a long time and have staying power has to go through that transition," he said. "Some records are going to be bigger than others. You're always going to be compared to your biggest record. All you can do as an artist is just strive to make the best record you can and ride the roller coaster as it goes up and down.
"I think, overall, we're gonna be a group that's here for a long time. As long as people want us and our fans want us, then hopefully we can ride the wave -- like I say, the roller coaster -- up and down and be standing at the very end."
Producer Jim Jonsin, who produced five of the 11 tracks that will appear on "This Is Us," told Billboard.com that recording with the group was "an awesome experience ... The album is solid, and the guys are trying to make incredible songs." Jonsin added, "They actually mentioned that it felt like they were recording their first album. I believe this album is gonna be huge for the guys. They worked really hard on keeping their sound but wanted to step it up a notch."
The group launches a world tour September 27 in Singapore, then goes to Europe from October 30-December 6. North American dates for 2010 are expected to be announced soon.
(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)
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