Matt Epp's Safe or Free is filled with great vocals and instrumentation, but the lyrics themselves aren't too desirable, leaving the album with an overall mediocrity that fails to jump out. If you pay attention to and desire strong lyrics and poeticism, this is not the album for you. There's nothing groundbreaking or unique about what Epp sings about. Although a general listen is alright, the instrument choices do not pair well with the lyrics.
The shining moment of the cd is "Cover Me," a combination of everything Epp does well on parts of other songs, showing how enjoyable his career could become for potential fans. It's a versatile song, with strong male back-up vocals nicely contrasting with the female backing of the rest of the album.
Safe or Free is a mellow album and a fairly good choice if lyrics don't deter from the overall quality. However, lyrics that center around a chorus of "I don't like your friends at all/ there's no telling what I'd do if they hurt you/ it's the end of the line/ they won't find the bodies" repeated several times do not make for a strong song.
The general feeling is that Epp has not come into himself as an artist yet, nor made any distinguishing moves to set himself apart from everyone else. Potential only goes so far.