NEW YORK - Anthony Hamilton has achieved platinum status with his old-school soul sound, but the 37-year-old singer wants more.

The Grammy-nominated crooner is hoping to take his career to the next level with his new CD, "The Point of It All," released this week.

To get to that point, Hamilton's switched up his style a bit: He doesn't sound as melancholy and even tackles a more uptempo sound this time around.

Q: How is the new CD different compared to your past projects?

A: Well on this one, I'm not heartbroken, I'm not sad, depressed or down right now. [Making] sure that I could still capture the same emotion that affected people [and] going into more uptempo songs [that] could be a bit challenging. So I wanted to make sure I could still keep your attention and make you feel like, "OK, this is the same Anthony Hamilton who cares about the schools and the jail systems or whatever."

Q: Why aren't you as sad or depressed?

A: I got a good woman. I have a beautiful wife now, who praised me out of that pit and brings happiness to my life that most men often desire, but run from.

Q: How did it feel to record the more uptempo songs on the new album?

A: I was a breakdancer, so I like to dance. It was getting the right songs that fit me, that don't seem like I'm singing too fast or out of my character, [that] is always the important part. Just knowing that if you get the right music, you can make the best song, whether it's fast or slow. The only thing I wanted to do was allow people to dance. The time right now is not a good one - everybody's depressed about the economy, so everybody's got a lot on their plate . . . The only thing I wanted to do was take the same message and have people turn it around and, instead of worrying about it, laugh about it, dance it off, you can sweat out something.

Q: What's been the most challenging part of your career so far?

A: [Getting] magazine publications, the front and center, because I have a story to tell. Getting that kind of exposure, the exposure that you see John Legend and Beyonce [getting], the mainstream exposure, that's more challenging. Being the guy who does the tribute to such greats like Al Green, it seems to pass me by a lot of times.

I just stand firm and believe in my faith that all of it will turn around when it's supposed to, but sometimes it gets discouraging.

Q: Why do you feel you get overlooked?

A: I think [I'm] just too real. Right now we're living in a time that's youth driven, hip-hop based. I'm not old [but] my music sometimes comes across a little mature. Maybe they're afraid of that, maybe I might say the wrong thing, [like] something positive.