Though Carly's previous album, This Kind of Love, was a more-than-modest success, its release resulted in controversy. The singer-songwriter sued her label, Starbucks' Hear Music, for not properly promoting it. So yeah, Carly is as sassy as ever. Then again, Never Been Gone reveals a reflective side. A collection of classic hits re-recorded for modern ears, Ms. Simon sounds knowing and wise. They are qualities further accentuated by the stripped-down production and emphasis on acoustic guitar work.