The Age of Miracles
When Mary Chapin Carpenter sang “I Take My Chances” in the ’90s, she was an introspective newcomer in country music. Now, with a solid repertoire of folksy, philosophical music, she still brings a fearless gypsy spirit to her latest album. A common theme of longing to be free shows up in “Holding Up the Sky” and “I Was a Bird” (featuring Alison Krauss). On “The Age of Miracles,” she is at once nostalgic for the past’s familiarity yet enthralled by the opportunities of the future. Subtle guitar and piano give an appropriate spacious, airy quality to the songs. Worth noting is the blend of poetic imagery (Time is just sand / And I might just slip through your hands) and charming piano on “Zephyr.” She brings her hopes back down to earth in the relatable “I Put My Ring Back On” (featuring Vince Gill) and “The Way I Feel,” a breezy song of love and adventure.