Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean takes a deep dive into fatherhood with the new track “Give You Away,” looking ahead to a time when his young daughters grow up and start their own lives.
Part of McLean’s upcoming country album debut, Long Road, the bittersweet track follows the pop-star-turned-country-crooner’s romantic first single, “Boy And a Man,” and builds off a similar theme of hard-earned maturity – but “Give You Away” shows a different side of devotion. Featuring the smooth soul of McLean’s voice and a spacious, piano-led sound, it’s all about coming to terms with the knowledge that his kids won’t be kids forever.
“As I sit on those old metal bleachers / Five hundred students, your mom and me and some high-school teachers / I see the way that you look at that quarterback and I wonder will I get my daughter back / I know I gotta give you away,” goes the lump-in-your-throat chorus.
“It means so much to me to have a song about my girls,” says McLean on Instagram, where he describes himself as “Proud daddy of 2 amazing lil monkees Ava & Lyric.” “I can never get through this one live without losing it.”
“Give You Away” was written and produced by Mike Mani and Jordan Omley – who together go by the moniker “The Jam” and have contributed to Santana’s Grammy-winning Supernatural album, as well as projects by Lady Gaga, JoJo, Becky G and more.
McLean made his first foray into country with the Backstreet Boys on Florida Georgia Line’s “God, Your Mama, and Me,” and the two groups also toured together as part of FGL’s Smooth Tour in 2017. McLean’s Long Road album is expected sometime this year.