Backstreet Boys

New Walk Down Backstreet

BSBIs there life beyond the boy band phenomenon? The Backstreet Boys are on a mission to prove there is. "Never Gone," due June 14, is the first studio album from the multi-platinum act in nearly five years.

After selling more than 73 million albums worldwide, according to Jive, group members Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson, Nick Carter and A.J. McLean decided to take a hiatus.

When they got back in the studio, they first found themselves exploring a different sound. "It actually started off in an R&B direction about a year-and-a-half ago," Dorough says. But it morphed into a pop album as the group worked with a slew of top producers, including Max Martin, Mark Taylor, Billy Mann, Five For Fighting's John Ondrasik, Dan Muckala and John Shanks.

Muckala produced the first single, "Incomplete," which has been welcomed at pop radio -- despite some initial skepticism. The album features the act's trademark harmonies, but "we've stripped it down and kept it more organic," Dorough says. "It's not all five-part harmony like everything used to be. It's like Backstreet Boys meets matchbox twenty meets Maroon5 meets Coldplay."

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