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Jesse McCartney’s back…and the girls are still screaming

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Grant Spanier A “Beautiful Soul” is back in the spotlight.  After a four-year hiatus, Jesse McCartney‘s returned with a new single, “Better With You” — and he says he’s been surprised by the “outrageously positive” response.

“I took quite a bit of time off, just for my own personal health and well-being,” Jesse tells ABC Radio. “About a year ago, I decided I’d try to do some music again and…the response has been outrageously positive. All of my fans have clearly just been waiting for some new tunes.”

After spending the last four years traveling, acting, reading and becoming a foodie, Jesse says the catalyst for his return was attending a Nashville “songwriting camp,” where he attempted to write a song a day.

“It was a real fun challenge,” he tells ABC Radio. “And when I got back to L.A….that was when I decided, ‘O.K., my tools have been sharpened, let’s go back in and write some pop music.”

The result is “Better With You,” a song that’s giving some fans “Beautiful Soul” vibes. Jesse says he wasn’t trying to evoke his signature tune, but it just sort of happened.

“I think naturally, as this record was taking shape, it just sort of took on this slightly more pop sound that I think is reminiscent of the ‘Beautiful Soul’ days,” he explains. “And I think maybe that’s why people are also gravitating towards it so much. I think it kind of tickles that nostalgic bone or something.”

Speaking of nostalgia, Jesse, now 30, admits that at his recent concerts, the girls are still screaming for him.

“Not a lot has changed in that regard,” he laughs. “It’s still pretty amazing when you go to play ‘Beautiful Soul’ or ‘Leavin,’’ how…that sort of teenage, pre-pubescent energy just comes rattling out of them!”

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