This week, IMPACT artist the Backstreet Boys released their eighth studio album In a World Like This. It’s the first album not only on their own record label K-BAHN, but the first to feature Kevin Richardson, who made his departure after 2005’s Never Gone.
Last year, all five members of the Backstreet Boys — A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Richardson and Carter — hopped on a plane to the U.K. for three weeks of songwriting. Hailed by Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter as a “solid” album, the band co-wrote 8 of the 12 tracks. It’s also the first time in years that all five lived and worked together.
“The songwriting has honestly been one of the most fun processes on this entire project,” Carter said. “Now we’re able to write things that we care about in the music. We’re able to put us, our life experiences, and everything in there.”
This summer, Backstreet Boys embark on a headlining tour to celebrate 20 years as a band and the new, personal material is something Carter is excited to share with fans.
“When you’re writing an album or writing a song you need to put your heart on the table. You need to put your heart and your pen to the paper because that’s what makes an emotional song,” he explained. “That’s something that people relate to.”
He added: “We didn’t want to write songs anymore that were just like a boy band recording songs. We wanted to be able to feel these songs. That’s how the best songs come out. It’s all emotional, it’s feeling.”
The majority of their songs were written from firsthand experience. Ballad “Show ‘Em (What You’re Made Of),” cowrote by McLean and Richardson, is a song written with their children in mind.
A personal favorite of Carter’s is “Make Believe,” where he shares writing credit with Richardson and Dorough.
“I love fantasy. I love sci-fi. I love space. I was able to really capture that with ‘Make Believe,'” he said. “Most people want to leave this world and go somewhere else, whether it’s a video game or a song. One of the lyrics is, ‘If we can only make believe, you and me together. We set our course to live or die across the universe. I’d be by your side.’ I feel like you could just jump into a spaceship and take off.”
Other tracks, like “Try” and “Trust Me” hearken back to the old Backstreet Boys days, something Carter said will always remain.
“I think the old Backstreet is always going to come out in us. That’s what we came from after 20 years,” he said. “It’s all about tapping into old stuff for the fans that appreciate the nostalgia and that want to be brought back and at the same time give something fresh.”
In a World Like This track listing:
1. “In A World Like This”
2. “Permanent Stain”
5. “Show ‘Em (What You’re Made Of)”
6. “Make Believe”
8. “Trust Me”
9. “Love Somebody”
10. “One Phone Call”
11. “Feels Like Home”