Backstreet Boys Are 'Halfway There' to First Indie Album

Backstreet Boys Are 'Halfway There' to First Indie Album

With Kevin Richardson back in the fold, the guys work with "young cats" like the Fliptones on their next album

Just in time to celebrate their 20th anniversary next year, a clearly revived Backstreet Boys say a new album is more than halfway done.

The quintet, which is again at full strength with the return of Kevin Richardson, recorded about 15 songs in London earlier this year with producer Martin Terefe (Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" and Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours") and are now working in L.A with a slate of producers.

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Nick Carter told Billboard at the AMAs that the boys are working with Morgan Taylor Reid as well as The Fliptones, among other "young cats" as he calls them. "Up and coming guys who I really think have a sound that hasn't been heard yet."

While Howie Dorough pegged the album's progress at around 50 percent, Carter thinks it could be closer to 75.

The group's as-yet-untitled studio album (their seventh in the U.S.) will be their first since leaving now-defunct Jive Records in 2010. They hold the distinction of being the retired label's top selling act in history. Dorough sees their newfound independence as a major plus.

"We're writing a lot for this album, working with a lot of producers," he said. "We're now free agents on our own label now. So we're really in charge of making this album ourselves and it's great, it's something we've always wanted to do."

After a six-year break, Richardson reunited with Carter, Dorough, Brian Littrell and A.J. McLean in early 2012. They made their first official appearance together at an August concert on ABC's "Good Morning America," where Richardson said "It just felt right," to return to the fold. "I feel inspired to make music again with these guys."

Reporting by @ Keith_Caulfield in Los Angeles.