Quinn XCII is a Detroit-based vocalist and songwriter who fuses pop, hip-hop, reggae, and EDM into his own unique sound. His songs are typically about failed relationships and heartbreak, but they're often sung or rapped over bright, sunny backing tracks that partially disguise the melancholy sentiments of the lyrics. His debut full-length, The Story of Us, was released in late 2017. - Apple Music
Quinn XCII’s sophomore album has finally arrived about a year and a half after his first album, The Story of Us. A lot of his typical electropop style can be seen throughout the album, but it feels like he is growing up as an artist. He gets a little experimental with From Michigan With Love, which pays off very well.
12. “Life Must Go On”
I am all on board for a Quinn XCII and Jon Bellion collaboration. Both are very unique artists that have electropop tendencies in their music and can both have catchy and playful tunes. However, this was not what we got with “Life Must Go On.” I enjoy Quinn’s chorus and Jon Bellion’s chorus, but together they did not match up well. It felt like they were from two completely different songs and lacked smooth transitions. That being said, they do bring a great message about overcoming anxiety and obstacles with this track. With this amazing concept, it did lack proper execution.
This song has one of the slower starts on From Michigan With Love. However, it does pick up considerably as it gets into the pre-chorus and chorus. Those parts are catchy, but they are probably the only catchy part. It does seem like this song is a bit more personal because it’s stripped down to mainly a guitar and tambourine. In addition, the so-called “tough” person feels very specific. One can lose the audience a bit, especially during Noah Kahan’s verse.
10. “Abel & Cain”
There are more moments where the song begins to pick up and feel like it can become a high energy song. However, it falls back into the same rhythm. Because of this, it feels like this song could have been better. The message he is trying to portray is a bit confusing as well. At first, it seems like the girl he is describing is his savior. However, in other parts of the song, it feels like he is singing about losing the girl. Quinn did not do a very good job passing his message along and the music faltered a bit in intensity.
9. “Sad Still”
This song grows on you more as you listen to it. The constant flipping between slow singing and upbeat rapping is a bit off-putting at first. However, I think after a few listens that’s where its charm stems from. It is a bit different from a typical song we hear on the radio. I believe this song would make a really fun karaoke because of the change between the singing and the rapping.
If you need a song to bop your head to and sing along to, “Autopilot” is the song for you. Its lyrics are pretty catchy and after a few listens you find yourself singing along without even trying to. The chorus has a good rhythm and the music is a bit more electropop making a song that you can dance in the car to on your morning commute. On “Autopilot,” Quinn talks about him feeling like his life is happening outside of his control. He feels like he is just standing by and watching other people dictate what is happening.
7. “Holding Hands”
A perfect song to start off From Michigan With Love. When you listen to “Holding Hands,” it does a fantastic job painting a picture. You can picture the dialogue going on between Quinn and a significant other he once loved dearly. However, as time goes on, their feelings for one another are just not there anymore. The song’s soothing music works well with the message of the song. Its soft melodies and steady beats allow for Quinn’s harmonies with featured artist Elohim to really shine.
It’s probably the most upbeat song on the album From Michigan With Love. The beginning of the song is perfect because it feels like background music to a forest at night. The metaphor where Quinn talks about a girl being his weakness and transforms into someone completely different, much like a full moon transforming a person into a werewolf is very playful and creative. The rest of the song is just as playful where it alludes to different aspects of the monster folklore like a silver bullet and the living dead. The music is very positive and consistent, while Yoshi Flower’s feature is well-suited for this song and meshes well.
5. “When I Die”
This song does a sweet job trying to describe how one should feel when they’re in a happy relationship. With a steady and upbeat tempo, it is something that you’ll catch yourself singing along to. There isn’t a lot of complexity to the song. What really shines in “When I Die” has to be the lyrics and sentiment he is trying to paint.
4. “Right Where You Should Be”
This song does a wonderful job showcasing how natural Quinn is in his electropop element. Ashe’s feature is a great balance of Quinn’s lower voice in juxtaposition to her ability to hit a higher range. It feels like a good culmination to the album because it brings together a lot of recurring themes. For example, it brings up overcoming self-doubt and trying to compromise with a loved one. Quinn did an excellent job ending From Michigan With Love on a high, upbeat and catchy track.
3. “U & Us”
All in all, “U & Us” is a more bare song that gives a look at pure emotions. It’s definitely one of the few songs where there is not a lot of electronic influence from Quinn’s catalog. It adds a different layer to From Michigan With Love because there is somewhat of a Mumford & Sons feel to this song with some indie vibes. This acoustic tune gives a more vulnerable Quinn where he is having a one-sided conversation with the memory of a former lover. I believe this song would be a good song for Quinn to promote and possibly even do a Spotify Sessions version of this song with just a guitar.
It appears Cautious Clay takes the reins of this song when it comes to production. It sounds very typical of something that he would put out himself. The beats are very lo-fi and the opening where Clay and Quinn harmonize reminds me of the typical dreamy, melodic openings Clay typically has. For example, it reminds me of Clay’s latest song, “Honest Enough,” which also has a dreamy, melodic opening. This song that depicts the battle you have against yourself and your past choices is very soothing. It definitely should be put on repeat and heard on the daily.
1. “Good Thing Go”
It’s the best song on the album, From Michigan With Love and probably one of Quinn’s best songs ever. It has a timeless feel to it. It does not feel out of place in today’s music, and it probably won’t be out of place 10 years from now. When I heard this song for the first time, it just really lifted my spirits. I can picture this song being the first dance at a wedding. When I heard the title of the album, I thought that it would be a more intimate body of work than his previous ones. This song exceeded my expectations. It feels like anyone can connect with this song and its heartfelt message of being with someone you truly love and appreciate.
From Michigan With Love Has Something For Everyone
All in all, not every song will be loved by everyone. However, in this body of work, Quinn does a great job trying to transcend his typical style. He includes slower tracks and more upbeat dance-worthy songs. Quinn is expressing a bit more vulnerability in this project which helped create some amazing songs that will stick with him for the rest of his career. Big congratulations to the highly deserving of his featured artists on From Michigan With Love.
As well as an honorable mention to Cautious Clay, who raised “Matches” to a whole other level. If you’re enjoying this album, make sure to check out The Daily Fandom‘s article where we take a deeper look at Ariana Grande’s most recent album, thank u, next.