"I know it hasn't been easy for us to talk with everyone being around," Justin Bieber says in his new song, "But this is personal, this is for me and you / And I want you to know that I still love you."
Is the teen-pop superstar using a totally public forum to privately address Selena Gomez, his on-again/off-again girlfriend? Only Bieber knows.
What's clear to the rest of us, though, is that after a rocky summer in which he drew more attention with his offstage antics than with his music -- we'll never forget you, abandoned capuchin monkey -- Bieber is back to the business of making records.
Good ones too: Released late Sunday, "Heartbreaker" is a moody, slow-rolling, digital-soul cut that sounds like something Timbaland might've offered Ginuwine back in the post-"Pony" early 2000s; there's even a half-time breakdown near the end in which the singer's voice goes full-on sad-robot a la Kanye West on "808s & Heartbreak."
According to Bieber's website, the song is the first installment in what he's calling Music Mondays: 10 new tracks -- his first since January's "Believe Acoustic" -- to be parceled out one a week over the next 2 1/2 months.
Biebs is back! (Maybe.) Listen to "Heartbreaker" below.