Backstreet’s back, alright.
Six years, two newborns and one hit Las Vegas residency later, the Backstreet Boys are plotting their return with 10th studio album “DNA,” out January 25.
It’s the pop group’s first full-length effort since “In a World Like This” in 2013, in which time the guys have expanded their families, released a documentary (2015’s “Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of”) and charted their 18th song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” which peaked at No. 63 in July).
“After 25 years, to be played on the radio and get as much love as (“Heart”) has gotten, is still overwhelming,” says AJ McLean, who makes up one-fifth of the band with Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, and Howie Dorough. “We feel extremely blessed to know that the past 5-7 years of us doing everything we can to rebuild the brand and get us back to this place has definitely paid off. This (song) has really been setting things up perfectly and we’re about to be off to the races soon.”
First up, there’s anthemic new single “Chances,” out Friday. Co-written by Shawn Mendes and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, the gushy love song talks about the “two-in-a-million” chance you’ll meet the love of your life in the most precarious, everyday scenario.
“You don’t necessarily have to be set up on a date or go on a dating app to meet that special someone,” McLean says. As illustrated in its dance-heavy music video, which the Boys co-directed and appear in, “you could literally miss your train and happen to lock eyes with this person, and just lose yourself in that moment and go to whatever lengths to actually be with that person.”
“Chances” was one of the last songs that the group recorded for “DNA,” which aims to go back to basics while pushing their sound forward in new and interesting ways. “Honey, I’m Good” singer Andy Grammer, Lauv (Charli XCX’s “Boys”) and Mike Sabbath (Liam Payne & J Balvin’s “Familiar”) have writing credits on the album, which was gradually recorded over the past three years between Vegas, Los Angeles, and Nashville.
The latter city informed the country/blues-rock feel of tracks such as “No Place,” which is largely autobiographical.
“I’ve been all around the world, done all there is to do, but there’s no place like home,” says Richardson, 47. “That’s a song that we were inspired by our families and children to make.”