between the lines:

a story in liner notes


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

It's almost three in the morning right now and I'm lying in bed trying to write this without waking my baby up. Maybe I should've found myself a heavier sleeper! But I tried to write this on my computer earlier and nothing came to me. This is where my inspiration is.

Wow, it seems like every time we put out a new album, there are more people to thank, and I know I'll never remember everyone so I'm gonna leave most of that to Kevin. Whatever he says, it goes for all of us. Don't let me down, Kev!

First, always, thanks to God for giving me the strength to get to this point, to get through a really tough time in my life, and for helping me find the person I want to be with for the rest of my life. You've always been there for me and I thank You every day for what You blessed us with.

To Leighanne: You're the kindest, most patient, most understanding ex-wife that ever was. I don't deserve to have someone like you love me the way you do, but then, no man is good enough for you! I wish you all the happiness in the world.

Thanks to my family, for always being there no matter what. You believed in me, and it's taken me-and all of us-to amazing places. I thank God for you every day, and pray for your health and happiness. You've made what could have been a tough thing the most beautiful thing in the world, and I'll never be able to thank you enough for that.

To Nick, Kevin, AJ and Howie: Thanks for making my life something it never could have been without you. You're all amazing people and I'm blessed to have known you. After everything we've been through, nothing can tear us apart.

And to my baby-you know who you are! I never saw it coming, but I'm thankful all over again that it did. You're the part of me that was missing, and now that you're with me I'm whole. It's a beautiful, spiritual thing. Track nine, baby, it's all you.

And last but not least, thanks to the fans who've put us where we are today. This one's for you!


Backstreet's Back! My wife told me it was cheesy to start my thank yous that way, so I guess I'm just a cheesy guy at heart! I love you, Sarah, but I'm gonna have to do this my way.

Every time we put out an album we do one of these, and every time I name the same names, so I'm just gonna shorten it up a little this time, make room for something new. No offense to anyone, but I only have so much space! Thanks to management, the label, the producers, the promoters, the collaborators, the writers, the technicians, the tour crew, the stylists, our security, our families and our fans. There, that should be everyone.

So in the beginning, there were these five guys who wanted to sing together. They didn't have a whole lot in common at first, except that one thing, but that was enough for a start. And they worked hard at what they did, and they were successful beyond anything they ever imagined.

Along the way, a lot of things happened. They fell in love, fell out of love, had good times and tough times, got in trouble, helped save the world and occasionally had shattering self-revelations in motel bathrooms. And what they learned from all that was that what didn't kill them made them stronger.

There were a lot of times that we thought this album might not be made, but then something really special happened and it all just came together. Proof maybe that love really does conquer all. At the very least, it's an incredible inspiration to both those in it and those surrounding it.

To Kevin, Nick, Brian and Howie - I think this is the best album we've ever done, and I've never been prouder of you guys, or more thankful to have you around. Not just musically, but in life. I don't think any of us can even separate the two things anymore.

We did it, guys! We really did it!


Here we are again, our fifth album together and still going strong. There are people who thought we'd never make it this far; to them I say, just take a look at us now. Back and better than ever. And, as always, there a dozens of people to thank for it.

To the crew at Jive, you guys have worked hard our behalf. Sonia, Steve, Dan, Maria, TJ, Allan and Barry, and Katie and Chris who were only with us for a summer-you guys were all great. To Irving Azoff and Howard Kaufman and Jenn C. and Dave everyone else who works with you, you guys have done exactly what we needed done, and knew better than we did what that was.

Thanks to Max and Kristian and Dale and Marty and the boys up in New York, we couldn't have gotten our sound together without you. When it comes to pop, you're the guys to go to. And to Beyonce-we'll have to do that again some time, it was an amazing experience.

Thanks to our security team who, past and present, have always kept us safe. It's a tough job and we've always been glad to have you guys to do it for us. There's no one I trust with my safety more.

To Fatima and Jake, for always making us look good up there, and to Darla, for making sure we sound good when we're up there, because no matter what anyone thinks, that's important too.

To all the stations who played our music and helped it get out to the world, thank you. We couldn't do this without you guys on our side! There's room for everyone out there I the world of music, and we just want our corner of it. And also to the media outlets who didn't pursue certain stories-you guys have class. That's all I have to say about that

To my family, Mom, Jerald, Tracy, Will, Tim, Ena, PaPaw and MaMaw, thank you for being my family and for always being there for me. Thanks to my good friends, to Keith and Jimmy and Lisa, I didn't forget you this time! I love you guys and I'm glad you stuck with me, even though I'm not always the easiest guy to stay friends with.

To Kristin, my wife, my love, who always knows the right thing to say. Thank you so much from all of us, for everything you've done for this group. I hate having to share you, but I'm so proud of you it hurts. I just love you more every day.

Nick. AJ. Howie. Brian. We've been through a lot together since this whole crazy ride started, and I'm willing to be there are plenty of things to come yet. You're all wonderfully talented people and it's been an honor and a pleasure and the best time of my life to work with you. I hope we'll continue to do it for years to come.

And finally, to all of our fans all over the world. You've stuck with us this far, and I have faith you'll stick with us as we continue to grow and change and evolve. Hope to see many of you when we're back out on tour again!


Why, why, why do I always leave these things to the last second? It must be my nature. I have someone hovering over me right now, waiting for this, so I just hope they can read my chicken scratches when I'm done!

Thanks to everyone we've worked with, who helped us make this great album. I got writing credit on four songs! Next time it'll be all me. Heh heh heh. Thanks to our great new management who really got our faces out there again. It's been a really exciting time, this past year.

Thanks to my family. Mom: love the new hair! Keep it! Dad: you just keep racing like you do and you'll be the best dad ever. Ginger: what can I say? You're the best, especially when I get lonely and call you at two in the morning and you don't hang up. BJ: stay out of trouble! Learn from your big brother's mistakes, okay? Leslie: you're so beautiful, and don't let no one tell you you're not. I see hundreds of girls every day, I should know. Angel: never has there been anyone with such a perfect name, because you really are. And Aaron: the best brother a guy could hope for. You're a star, bro! Lucky you got me to keep your feet on the ground.

Thanks to Mark, the night clerk at the Super 8. I promised you I'd give you a shout-out and here you are! Thanks for breaking the bunch us into that room, man, even though it could've gotten you into a lot of trouble. (I didn't just get you in trouble, did I?) You might've helped save someone's soul that night, man.

Thanks to Starr at Starbucks (that cracks me up every time!) who kept us in cappuccinos for as long as we needed them-which was a long time. You're a life saver! And I do still have your number. I'll call, I swear.

Thanks to the folks at the Discreet Boutique, who helped me find the best anniversary gift ever. I didn't know nothing about that stuff before; wow did you guys open my eyes. And for the record, the happy couple is putting it to good use! (I think-they don't share details!)

Thanks to the ____ Reading Room in a city I'm not gonna name to protect the innocent. You taught me a lot, and let me help out a friend, and that's the best thing ever. I'll be back! With more of those great cookies from the bakery up the street, too, to reward your endless patience with the clueless guy.

And thanks to my brothers: Kevin, AJ, Howie and Brian. Everything I ever needed to know about life, I learned from the Backstreet Boys. Am I in trouble or what? But seriously, you guys were the ones there for me when I was growing up, and I learned a lot of really important things from you. And I still do, all the time. You're the best friends I'll ever have, and I can't imagine going on this adventure with anyone else.


Another year, another album-but not like any of the others. We say that every time we put something out, but it's different this time. There's something really personal behind every song on this one, and I think that really comes through.

Right now I can hear the click click click of the keyboard from the other room, so I know I'm not the only one trying to get some work done tonight. I don't mind being alone in bed, though-I think that's part of what love's about, though, knowing you're together even when you're apart. I've learned a lot about that, since our last album.

So, to the thank yous. Thank you to the people who make it possible for us to make our music-to the crew at Jive, to Irving Azoff and Howard Kaufman and their people, to our producers, to the beautiful Beyonce Knowles who collaborated with us on this album. Thank you to the people who are always with us-our security, stylists, publicists (hi Joan!) and schedulers, who make sure we can do everything we need to do in a day.

Thanks to the guys, to my best friends Kevin, AJ, Nick and Brian. I don't want to imagine a world where the five of us didn't find each other and decide we had what it took to go all the way. Another one down and lots to go, guys!

To my family, who brought me into this world and have always been there for me. To my friends, who haven't let any of this go to me head (even if they had to learn to throw a punch to do it! Just kidding!) To the many people I've met these past years, thanks for everything I've learned from you. And to the fans, thanks for supporting us!

And last of all, thanks to my baby, the one I love. This album exists because we found each other, and found out what we could be to one another. It wasn't easy, and we drove a lot of people nuts while we figured it out, but I wouldn't trade a second of it for anything. Thank you, just because.

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