October 20th, 2007 00:25 EST
Unbeatable Backstreet Boys Release Unbreakable
After selling millions of albums, performing thousands of concerts and encountering countless screaming fans, the Backstreet Boys are back again with the release of their new album Unbreakable.
The group’s new release, their first since Never Gone in 2005, marks their 10th anniversary and, according to the Backstreet Boys in a telephone interview, the new album is also a departure from the days in which they were the reigning kings of MTV’s “Total Request Live.”
“We’re blessed to still be doing what we’re doing,” said Brian Littrell. This statement, especially, rings true for the Backstreet Boys. Considering the ever-changing music industry, and the fact that the group’s core audience of teenagers are now twenty-somethings, the fact that Backstreet Boys have been together for a decade is no small feat.
Their boy band contemporaries, such as *NSYNC and 98 degrees, disbanded years ago, making Backstreet Boys the only group still standing after the implosion of the power pop era.
Even though the group is about to release their fifth studio album and they are planning to embark on a world tour, there is one notable absence. Last year, Kevin Richardson decided to leave the group in pursuit of other interests. There is no ill will after his departure, explained fellow Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough. “He’s at a great place in his life, and we’re at a really great place with him right now,” Dorough said.
The boys said they are not only at a great place with each other, but they are at a great place musically as well. “We’re really proud of this record,” said AJ McLean. While making Unbreakable, McLean said, the group wanted to be on the edge while remaining true to the sound they’re known for.
Nick Carter agreed saying, “Music comes in cycles. We stay in our lane and, at the same time, we strive to do something new.”
The "something new" comes in the form of collaboration. While recording Unbreakable, the group enlisted the help of various songwriters and producers, including *NSYNC alum JC Chasez. After working with producer and songwriter Max Martin on several of their past releases, Backstreet Boys switched gears and brought Dan Muckala to the helm. This new collaboration, the group said, was extremely helpful during the long process of recording.
“We wanted to break out of the mold,” Carter said. “We pushed Dan to a new direction he wasn’t used to going.”
Although the Backstreet Boys are very pleased with their new album, they are well aware that album sales may not match their previous triumphs. However, considering that they have previously sold more than 75 million albums worldwide, their spot within the pop culture pantheon is certain. The group said that record sales aren’t the most important thing, and that quality has always been more important than quantity.
For Littrell, the reason the Backstreet Boys are still in the game is simple. “We’ve missed each other, we’ve missed performing and we missed traveling; it’s in our blood.”
Unbreakable is in stores Tuesday, October 30.