The Matrix Record With Shakira, Prep Debut Album

Production team recently finished recording 7 songs with singer at her ranch in Spain.

With all the hits they've written for the likes of Britney, Ricky Martin and Avril, you'd think the Matrix wouldn't have any left for themselves. Of course, you'd be wrong.

The production trio are about to begin work on their as-yet-untitled debut album and member Scott Spock has guaranteed that it will be packed with wall-to-wall smashes.

"We've had a couple songs that we've written over the past year where we'd be like, 'Let's keep this one for ourselves,' " said Spock. The trio, which also includes husband-and-wife team Lauren Christy and Graham Edwards, will begin work on their debut as soon as they finish producing the upcoming album from garage rockers Mooney Suzuki (see "Mooney Suzuki Save Jack Black's Butt, Plan To Work With The Matrix"). "We got ourselves a guy and a girl singer, but we don't want to reveal who they are just yet," Spock said.

The singers are both new and both unknown, but Spock speculated they’d be "very well-known" once the album comes out (see "Avril's Hitmakers Land Record Deal, Set To Make Hits For Themselves"). He described the Matrix songs as mainstream pop-rock hits, with a little twist. "It's real interesting stuff," he said. "People will hear it and say, 'Holy sh--, what's this?!' " The album is tentatively slated for release in the first half of 2004.

Before the Matrix album drops, there will be plenty of the group's signature shiny pop sound to go around. They just finished a week of writing and recording seven songs with Shakira at her ranch in Spain, an experience Spock said was energizing. "She's such a talent, she just gets in front of the mic and sings flawlessly and she's also an amazing writer," Spock said. "Spanish is her primary language, but we did lyrics with her and she's also quite the poet in English."

Spock said the sound of the songs they recorded with Shakira is a little different from her English-language debut, Laundry Service. "It's got more of a rock tip to it," he said of her second English album. "It's a call back to the Cure and the Pretenders. It's definitely more of a rocker thing."

You can also hear the Matrix's handiwork on a few songs from the debut of England's Busted, which is slated for release in the U.S. in 2004. The album will be a compilation of their previously released material and new Matrix songs. "They're like a cross between Good Charlotte and Alien Ant Farm, but put a bit more spice in it," Spock said. The Matrix have also written songs with another Canadian pop songstress who is prepping her debut, Samantha Moore. Never one to hold back his enthusiasm, Spock predicted that the 15-year-old singer's "Remember Me" will be a top-10 hit. "For sure," Spock said. "It's such a hit."

As if that weren't enough, the Matrix are also consulting on the movie version of Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi" and executive producing the film's soundtrack (see "Avril's Tale Of Sk8er Boi Meets Girl Optioned For Movie").