This Is Us is the seventh studio album, sixth in the United States, from American pop group Backstreet Boys. It is their second album since becoming a four-piece band and was released on September 30, 2009[2] in Japan through Sony Music Japan, October 5, 2009 in the UK through RCA, and October 6 in the U.S. through Jive Records.

On the album, the group has reunited with previous collaborator and producer Max Martin (responsible for the previous hit "I Want It That Way") to try and create their best record since their 1999 worldwide hit album Millennium.[3] They worked with Ryan TedderClaude KellyJim JonsinRedOne,Ne-YoBrian KennedyAlex JamesPitbullEddie GalanRami YacoubKristian Lundin, and T-Pain amongst others for the album as well.[4][5][6]

The album debuted at number 9 on the US Billboard 200 making them the first group since Sade to have their first seven albums reach top 10 on the chart.[7] RedOne produced the album's lead single "Straight Through My Heart" which was released in August/September 2009 and reached number 1 in Taiwan, number 3 in Japan, number 5 in Spain, number 6 in Billboard Hot 100,19 in Canada, 72 in the UK, and 18 on the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart. It was their final album under Jive and their last album as a quartet before original member Kevin Richardson rejoined the band in 2012.


 [hide*1 Recording and production

Recording and production[edit]Edit

In an interview with Extra TV, the group confirmed the title of their seventh album to be This Is Us.[8] In the official press release RCA/Jive Records describes the album as "a finely crafted R&B and pop album from four talented musicians who love what they do and who maintain the rare relevance in an industry that often disposes of pop acts. The 11 songs that make up album are the sounds of four skilled singers with a similar vision, who have dealt with the trials and tribulations that accompany fame at an early age and who came out as one of the most successful groups of all time. It shows remarkable growth as songwriters and continues to give us songs that has made millions smile."[4]

On May 1, 2009, the Backstreet Boys management team expressed discontent at the fact that four recorded songs had been leaked on the internet. In an interview, A.J. McLean said that the group were "P.O.ed that music had leaked especially since extra care had been taken to keep the record secret".[9] In the end, however, the group used the feedback from the leaks to help guide the direction of the album and even the song selection by comparing fan reviews to what producers thought about the songs.[9] It was later revealed in 2011, that songs recorded for This Is Us were targeted by the German hacker, Deniz A., also known as DJ Stolen. In July 2010, the Rasch law firm logged a criminal complaint against DJ Stolen for "constantly placing hacked songs on the internet". Amongst those songs listed in the complaint was one called "Masquerade", described at the time as a new recording by the Backstreet Boys.[10] However despite leaking, the song is still included on the album.

Regarding their collaboration with RedOne, McLean remarked that it had been largely a last minute affair. Due to timing, the group was not able to make any recordings with the in-demand producer; however, near to the album's turn-in date, RedOne revealed that he had worked on three songs for the group and was more than willing to collaborate. It was also revealed that there had previously been 5 or 6 songs in the running for the lead single, although a Kevin Borg production titled "PDA" was most likely to be released; however, the RedOne production felt like "it was meant to be".[9] Interestingly one Tedder song, Shadows, which was co-written by McLean was written for this album, but failed to make it, so Simon Cowell bought the song for Leona Lewis's second album Echo but in the end felt it more suited for a boyband and it was featured on Westlife's 10th albumWhere We Are.[11]

Critical reception[edit]Edit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 67/100 [12]
Review scores
Source Rating [13]
Allmusic [14]
Billboard 62/100[15]
Entertainment Weekly B[16]
Los Angeles Times [17]
Slant Magazine [18]
StarShine Magazine 4.3/5[19]
Toronto Star [20]

This is Us received generally favourable reviews from critics, with a Metacritic score of 67% based on 5 reviews.[12]

Promotion and release[edit]Edit


Main article: This Is Us Tour===Release[edit]===

The group simultaneously released the standard and deluxe editions of the album. The deluxe edition (limited first edition in Japan) featured a DVD with live performances of previous singles at The O2 Arena in London, along with the music video for the first single.


  • The first single "Straight Through My Heart", was premiered on the group's website on August 17 and released to radio the following day. It peaked at number 3 on the Japan Hot 100 and 18 on the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart. It was certified platinum in Japan.
  • The second single "Bigger" was released in the UK on December 14, 2009[21] and released in the US on February 1, 2010 in AC radios.[22]

Track listing[edit]Edit

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Straight Through My Heart"   Nadir KhayatBilal Hajji, Novel Jannusi, AJ Jannusi,Kinnda Hamid RedOne 3:27
2. "Bigger"   Max MartinShellback, Tiffany Amber Martin, Shellback 3:15
3. "Bye Bye Love"   Kenneth Karlin, Carsten Schack, Claude Kelly Soulshock & Karlin 4:20
4. "All of Your Life (You Need Love)"   RedOne, Charles Hinshaw, Jr. RedOne 3:55
5. "If I Knew Then"   Kenneth Karlin, Carsten Schack, Claude Kelly Soulshock & Karlin 3:16
6. "This Is Us"   Jordan Omley, Michael Mani, James SchefferFrank RomanoHowie Dorough Jim Jonsin, Jordan Omley, Michael Mani 3:03
7. "PDA"   Printz Board, Mario "Tex" James Printz Board 3:48
8. "Masquerade"   Busbee, Brian KennedyAlex James, Antwoine Collins Brian Kennedy, Collins 3:03
9. "She's a Dream"   Nick CarterT-Pain, Howie Dorough, Brian LittrellA. J. McLean, Daen Simmons T-Pain, Mr. Pyro 3:58
10. "Shattered"   Jordan Suecof, Tiyon "TC" Mack, Chad "C-Note" Roper, Daryl Camper Emanuel Kiriakou 3:53
11. "Undone"   Troy Johnson, Ryan Tedder, Josh Hoge Johnson, Tedder 4:14

Chart positions[edit]Edit

Chart Peak


Certification Sales/


Australian Albums Chart 35[23]
Austrian Albums Chart 47[23]
Belgian Albums Chart 27[23]
Brazilian Albums Chart 9[24]
Canadian Albums Chart 3[25]
Danish Albums Chart 31[23]
Dutch Albums Chart 5[23]
Finnish Albums Chart 24[23]
German Album Chart 10[26]
Irish Albums Chart 24[27]
Japanese Oricon Albums Chart 2[28] Platinum[29] 250,000+
Mexican Albums Chart 12[23]
Portuguese Albums Chart 17[23]
Spanish Albums Chart 5[23]
Swedish Albums Chart 17[23]
Swiss Albums Chart 9[23]
UK Albums Chart 39[30]
U.S. Billboard 200 9[31]

Release history[edit]Edit

Region Format Date Label Catalog
Japan Standard edition[2] September 30, 2009 Sony Music Japan BVCP40100
Deluxe edition[32] BVCP40098
United Kingdom Standard edition,[33] October 5, 2009 RCA Records[9] 88697596182
Deluxe edition[34] 88697580882
United States Standard edition October 6, 2009 Jive Records 886975650422
Deluxe edition
Canada Standard edition[35] Sony Music Entertainment 88697565042
Deluxe edition[36] 88697580882
Taiwan Deluxe edition October 9, 2009 88697580882
Brazil Standard edition[37] October 15, 2009 886975961825
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