Indy: You've evolved so much musically over your three CDs. How do you look at your evolution?
CA: I came out during the huge sort of pop explosion, and that was kind of what I had to do to earn some credit and some respect for myself. A few million records sold later, I was able to do what I wanted to do with Stripped, which was kind of my own interpretation of my "coming of age" record. Then while I was on tour with that Stripped album, I started really diving deeper into this place of inspiration from myself, where blues, soul and jazz music was always an inspiration for me.
Indy: The new CD, Back to Basics, is creative in how it combines musical styles rooted in jazz and blues and modern rhythmic elements. Why were you drawn to the vintage music we hear on the album?
CA: There's a lot of sadness in old music and in blues. I think that I naturally just gravitated towards music that I could really feel on a deep level, and that meant sadness.
Indy: You're on the Back to Basics tour, but the show is actually pretty elaborate, with choreography, costume changes and set changes. Why did you want a glitzy presentation?
CA: I don't think it would be fair to my audience to just kind of sit on the stage with a mic if I play an arena. I really enjoy being taken out of my element for a moment and really being able to use my imagination and enter this whole different world. And from me, we do bring sort of a larger-than-life feel to this, you know, old concept.
At Denver's Pepsi Center, Feb 26.