Written after a pulmonary embolism forced her to cancel a tour, The Age Of Miracles songs are among the most perceptive and moving that Carpenter has ever recorded. The themes of freedom versus security dominate the lyrics — some tunes celebrate the hunger for escape, while others find peace in life’s limitations. Carpenter’s language is richly expressive, filled with flashes of insight (i.e, “there’s nothing like nothing to lose” in “We Traveled So Far”) and painterly invocations of place (such as ‘20s Paris in “Mrs. Hemingway”). She recalls the heroism of Tiananmen Square in “4 June 1989” and finds hope amidst global troubles in the title tune. But while the album’s reach is wide, it’s the intimacy of these tunes that’s most striking. Songs like “What You Look For” and “I Have A Need For Solitude” are finely detailed portraits of the artist as a seeker and dreamer. Co-produced with keyboardist Matt Rollings, The Age Of Miracles boasts a bright folk-pop sound, framing Carpenter’s heartfelt vocals to full advantage. An outstanding effort from start to finish.