T he Backstreet Boys have never broken up, but their new album In a World Like This, out Tuesday, feels like something of a comeback for the veteran boy band.
That's because it's their first album of new material with their original five-member lineup since 2005's Never Gone -- founding member Kevin Richardson , who left in 2006, re-joined the group last year. It's also the group's first album to be released independently -- it's coming out on their own label, K-BAHN, whose name is made up of each member's first initial.
In a World Like This features the group collaborating with some old friends, like Swedish hitmaker Max Martin , as well as some of today's biggest hitmakers, like the guys who produced and co-wrote recent smashes for Jason Mraz , Train , One Direction and Maroon 5.
Asked to describe the new album's sound, the group's AJ McLean called it, simply, "Backstreet Boys, through and through," with Nick Carter adding, "It's what we are, but it's fresh."
Discussing the challenge of keeping the group's signature sound, but still making it sound current, Kevin tells ABC News Radio, "We draw inspiration from the past...You also draw inspiration from the young artists that are up and coming. [But] ultimately, you just have to make music that you like and that you enjoy and that you're proud of. And that's really all you can do and hope everybody else gravitates towards it."
"It's exciting actually to make new music," group member Brian Littrell adds. "We've been singing the same stuff for a long time and it's been 20 years, so it's nice to have a new fresh outlook on where the Backstreet Boys want to go [in] the next 20 years."
The group, which celebrated its 20th anniversary back in April by getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, will perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight, and on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguso n on Wednesday. They'll also do a free show at the Grove in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Their headlining tour kicks off this Friday, August 2 in Chicago.
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