Once again a quintet, with Kevin Richardson having rejoined Nick Carter, A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough and Brian Littrell, the Backstreet Boys are well into recording their follow-up to 2009's This Is Us, their first album with all five members since 2005's Never Gone.
"We're about 75 percent through," Dorough tells Rolling Stone of the as-yet untitled album, which will be out in time for the group's 20th anniversary in 2013. "We're trying to have a single released hopefully in the spring, and an album summer or third or fourth quarter."
The group spent three weeks in London earlier this year working with producer Martin Trefere, who has worked with Train and Jason Mraz, among others. They've also worked with the Fliptones and reteamed with Dan Muckala, who wrote "Incomplete." Two other collaborators, Morgan Taylor Reid and the "Prophet" (Mika Guillory), co-wrote the group's current holiday song, "It's Christmas Time Again," with Dorough and Carter.
"They wrote it specifically for a Disney event that we did, their Christmas show/parade that they have every year," Littrell says. "It's exciting, it's fresh. We're proud of Nick and Howie for penning the song and giving the fans a little something to carry them over until next year when our album comes out."
When the album is released, fans can expect to hear the group dealing with subject matter reflective of where the five men are at in their daily lives. "It's just a natural evolution. We're all older, a lot of us are fathers. We're wanting to make this record a lot more personal," Dorough says.
The group also promises an evolution of sound of sorts, saying the new music has an "indie pop-rock" feel. But Richardson assures longtime BSB followers the sound will be recognizable. "We're not trying to recreate the wheel," he says.