R&B singer KEM is working diligently on his third album, which he hopes to release in 2009. But don't ask him to say exactly when.

R&B singer KEM is working diligently on his third album, which he hopes to release in 2009. But don't ask him to say exactly when.

"I can't get it done quick enough," the Detroit-based artist (real name Kim Owens) tells Billboard.com about "KEM III: Intimacy," his follow-up to 2005's gold-certified "Album II." "I'm breathing down my neck. The internal pressure is always more intense than the external pressure. The fans are ready for new music. Everybody's ready for it.

KEM says the album, which he's been recording in Detroit, "shows my evolution as a songwriter and a producer." It may also include a superstar duet that's still in the negotiating stages. The "Intimacy" title indicates the set's theme, though KEM says it's not all about that kind of intimacy.

"I'm know for making love songs," Kem explains, "so we thought we'd explore that word, that idea -- not only sensual intimacy but the true meaning of relationships and opening yourself up to somebody and allowing them to do the same with you.

"So the song 'Mother's Love' is about maternal intimacy between a mother and child. There are spiritual love songs on the album, too. Life is about relationships -- good, bad or indifferent. That's what we will be exploring on this new album."

Other songs slated for the album include "Why Would You Stay?" and "Share My Love," the projected first single. KEM has been playing shows throughout the making of the album, and he says that he enjoys presenting new songs to audiences that haven't yet heard them.

"Part of our template for creating records has been taking the music to the audience and test-driving it, if you will," KEM says. "You learn first and foremost if the audience likes the song, and I learn how to perform the song live and ... maybe get some different ideas about what to do with it in the studio."