Kellie Pickler has been working on her fourth studio album, and in a new interview, she says it will adhere closely to her roots in real country music.

"I've made records where I'm trying to make everybody else happy and say what other people want me to say. That was miserable," Pickler tells Rolling Stone. "If you go in and you're honest, people will either like you or not. You can't please them all, so you might as well be happy with it yourself. It's your face on the cover. You can't change who you are to please other people."

She ought to know. After placing sixth on the fifth season of 'American Idol,' Pickler experienced success straight out of the gate with her first album, 'Small Town Girl,' which scored three Top 20 singles. Her self-titled sophomore album gave the singer her first Top 10 single, 'Best Days of Your Life.'

But Pickler wasn't entirely happy with the direction of those projects, and when she delivered her third studio effort, '100 Proof,' her record company balked at her new material, which featured a much more traditional approach more in line with her influences, including Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette. The label didn't even release a single, and while the album subsequently died, critics all over the country hailed it as the singer's best work.

"Had I gone in and made the same old sh--, then Rolling Stone and different music critics wouldn't have picked it as one of the best albums of 2012," Pickler observes. "That showed me that I made the right call. It was tough, but I'm glad I stood up for myself."

Pickler split with Sony last June and signed with Black River Entertainment. She recently released a new single, 'Someone Somewhere Tonight.' Her fourth studio album -- the first under her new deal -- is expected to drop before the end of the year.