NEW YORK — Given the subject matter of "Until Yesterday," you'd wonder if JC Chasez took a turn toward country music.
"Well, it's not your average love story, by any means," the 'NSYNC singer said of the first single from his yet-untitled sophomore LP, due in early 2007. He performed the track with one of his best friends, Justin Timberlake, at New York's Roseland Theatre after last week's 2006 MTV Video Music Awards (see "Underdog Night At The VMAs: Panic, Gnarls, Blunt, Chamillionaire Win Big"). "It's actually about your girlfriend getting knocked up with another man's baby. How would you deal with that?"
Not well. But Chasez's music, while perhaps embracing the "cry in your beer" country ethos, won't sound anything like Travis Tritt. Chasez calls the album — which he spent more than a year and a half working on and just finished recording last month — a collection of "intelligent pop" (see "Justin Wows At Post-VMA Club Show; JC Chasez, Three 6 Mafia, Will.I.Am Join In").
"It's a great pop record — one that makes you think," he said of the follow-up to 2004's Schizophrenic. "It's not generic, and it's just a great sounding record too."
Chasez and Timberlake co-wrote and co-produced "Until Yesterday," along with two other cuts that are slated for the final track list: "God Bless America" and "Better With You." The singer also worked with rapper/producer Timbaland on a tune called "Fire"; producer Dallas Austin (Kelis, Gwen Stefani) on "F--- With My Mind"; and Billy Steinberg (who worked with Madonna in writing "Like a Virgin") on "I'm Not Sleeping Alone."
And, of course, Chasez had nothing but glowing reviews for his buddy Justin's upcoming LP, FutureSex/LoveSounds, due Tuesday (see "Justin's Album Shows Off Two Sides: Over-The-Top Saucy, Unassumingly Sweet").
"He has a phenomenal record coming out," Chasez said. "Obviously, he's one of my best friends. But 'SexyBack' is a brand-new sound for him, and it's opened up a lot of minds. The safe route would have been to make another record like the last one, because it was so successful. But I like the fact that he said, 'No. I'm going to be artistic. I am going to change my sound,' because that's what he was inspired to do."
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"He and I have written three or four songs now that I kind of put a producer hat on for, which was an honor, because in my opinion, he had the best voice out of all of us," Timberlake said of his former bandmate (see "Justin Opens Up About Britney, Lance, JC And The Media"). "Out of all the boy bands, call 'em what you will, he was the one that could out-sing all of us. And I've known him since I was 10, so it was fun to sit behind the board and push him."
Chasez said he plans to tour in support of his next album, but at this stage in the game, he's more concerned with finishing the record's final mix — a task that should take up at least much of this week. And who knows? Perhaps when Chasez does hit the road, he could join forces with his new pals OK Go.
"They're actually really cool," the singer said after meeting the band the afternoon before they'd take the stage to re-enact the treadmill tomfoolery of their video "Here It Goes Again" (see "YouTube Faves OK Go: The Band Least Likely To Become Famous For Their Dancing"). The bandmembers consulted with Chasez about potential dance moves they wanted to borrow and throw into the mix. "I am going to go check them out now, and if the music is any good, I will certainly become a fan."