Kathy Mattea's music has always had diversity in its bones: it's country, but it's also folk, bluegrass, rock, gospel, and pop. With that in mind, the sound of 1993's WALKING AWAY A WINNER shouldn't come as a surprise. While ostensibly less roots-oriented than previous releases, it also reflects Mattea's ability to assume and assimilate different styles.
WALKING AWAY A WINNER contains heavy doses of straight pop, but this doesn't mean Mattea has watered down her usually excellent material. Quite the contrary. The 10 tracks here are full of rich narratives of self-exploration, love, and interpersonal relationships, and Mattea delivers them all in her beautiful voice with a conviction born of a passion for performing. Mattea compromises none of her integrity here: the material and performances are uniformly strong, and if the whole is given a pop sheen it only serves to give that whole an across-the-board appeal.