When compiling the ninth studio album in her successful music career, Jann Arden thought she'd be making a "really up and perky" collection of her all-time favourite songs.

"But then I got involved, and it kind of got dark again," Arden joked Tuesday on the set of Canada AM, where she talked about the genesis of her new album, "Uncover Me."

"It was about time" to record again, said Arden.

"But I didn't want to do a Christmas album. I wasn't really ready to do an original record. I had done a lot of writing over the last year-and-a-half but it was so -- you'd think I was on acid playing the sitar -- it's so all over the place!"

So instead of trying to force an original album, Arden said she sat down with Russell Broom, who plays guitar and percussion on "Uncover Me," and chose some songs which she really loved singing while growing up.

"And this is what we ended up with."

Her new album includes the single "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian, which Arden described as the "perfect coming of age song" and the first song she learned to play on the guitar.

Another track is the Pat Benatar hit from the '80s, "Love Is a Battlefield." Arden said she always thought the song was just a catchy, dance-worthy tune when she listened to it in high school, but realized when rediscovering the lyrics that it's actually a very dark tale about an abusive relationship.

"And I think people will be just as depressed listening to this as any of my other records," Arden joked again.

Other songs on the album in include "Bring the Boys Home" (Freda Payne), "California Dreamin'" (Mama's & Papa's), "Peace Train" (Cat Steven) and "You're So Vain" (Carly Simon).

Arden was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in June 2006.

She has sold millions of CDs worldwide, with 15 top 10 singles and 8 Juno awards to her credit. Arden will embark on her Uncover Me Tour this spring in support of her latest release. Her tour includes 24 cities. Tickets went on sale Feb. 5.