Albert Ferreira/startraks
February 20, 2008 07:00 PM

Get ready Claymates, a new Clay Aiken album is just around the corner. The former American Idol contestant is in New York City currently recording his fourth album, which he expects to be released in early May, he tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“We’re hoping the next album will be out about May 6,” Aiken, who is currently starring in the Broadway run of Monty Python’s Spamalot as Sir Robin, tells PEOPLE.

Aiken’s keeping a hectic schedule, recording tracks for the RCA Records album when he’s not on stage. “We’ve picked most of the songs,” Aiken, 29, says. “Sonically, I don’t know that we’re going down any path that’s crazy. I’m not trying to be cool, I’m not trying to be hip. I’m not trying to do anything other than sing stuff that I’m good at.”

So what’s the inspiration behind Aiken’s upcoming album? “In the past five years there’s a lot I’ve learned about life, and I think people learn a lot in the twenties,” says the singer. “So we found a lot of songs that speak to that. I would like to wrap a lot of the music around that theme. It’s early to promise that, but it’s a goal.”

Aiken adds he has no plans to perform a duet with another singer, but he knows at least one star he’d love to sing with. “I’ve always wanted to do a duet with Martina McBride. I think she has one of the best voices,” he says.

And is Aiken planning an image overhaul, tied to the album? He says, “Last time I came out with dark crazy hair. We did that intentionally. But I’m just going to do what I do this time. We don’t have any plans this time. But I’ve got the red wig [from Spamalot] – maybe I’ll do that!”

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