The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, with the live-action “Aladdin” on the cover, has a look at entertainment in 2019 and who’s up first in the issue? None other than the Backstreet Boys!
Thanks to Emilia (@kaos_online) for images!
Six years after their last record, and a quarter century (!) since they first started, the Orlando-based crew of Howie Dorough, AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson, Nick Carter, and Brian Littrell are ready to reconquer the pop game with a return-to-roots LP.
By Samantha Highfill
Their first song on the Hot 100 in 11 years. Their first Grammy nomination in 17 years. Their biggest arena tour in 18 years. We’re not going to say Backstreet’s back (alright!), but as the group enters their 25th year together, it’s safe to say they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
It started in May 2018 with the release of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” the frist single off their 10th studio album, “DNA” (out Jan. 25). Suddenly the boy band – which found stardom in the late ’90s with hits like “I Want It That Way” and “Larger Than Life” – had returned to the radio with the kind of catchy, upbeat dance tune made for the summertime drives with the windows down. “That was the first song that really got us all excited,” Kevin Richardson says. Six months later, they dropped the records second single, “Chances,” co-written by songwriter Ryan Tedder and pop star Shawn Mendes.
“Both songs are completely different,” Brian Littrell tells EW. “Backstreet Boys are either known for dance songs or something that tugs on your heartstrings. ‘Chances’ is a love song.”
The singles are just two of the 12 new tracks from “DNA” – or, put another way, one-sixth of what fans can expect from the current Backstreet Sound. “We’re influenced by rap, R&B, country, rock, pop, gospel, everything,” adds Richardson. “‘DNA’ will feature tracks that are acoustically driven, piano-driven, songs that have an R&B vibe, and some that are influenced heavily by the EDM movement. But we did it all in a Backstreet way with our harmonies.”
Because if there’s one central element – or is it molecule? – to the Backstreet DNA, it’s that patented five-member blend. That’s why the new album – their first since 2013’s “In A World Like This” – felt like the perfect time for the band to return to their roots through a new a cappella song titled “Breathe,” for which they worked with the vocal arranger for Pentatonix. (BSB’s last a cappella track was “Just To Be Close” in 1997.) “It’s fitting after 25 years to go back to who we are,” Littrell says.
The quintet’s return to form will really kick off in 2019 as they wrap up a successful two-year Las Vegas residency at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in April and launch their world tour on May 11. “This is a pivotal moment in our career where I do see a shift,” Littrell says. “What are the chances that we would still be here talking about Backstreet Boys’ new music?”