Though it’s not really common knowledge, the “Quinn” in “Quinn XCII” is actually an acronym. The artist told Fuse in 2017 that he got it from a college professor; it stands for “Quit Unless your Instincts are Never Neglected.”

Besides showing us we can get useful information from our time in college, this fun fact lets us know the Michigan State grad is all about passion for his craft. That philosophy certainly comes through on his sophomore album From Michigan with Love.

In a piece I wrote about Quinn following his November performance in College Park, I described his music as “feel good ballads,” but From Michigan aims to do more than that. It’s a refreshing change of pace on songs like “Sad Still,” where Quinn takes on mental health and the tendency to treat it with prescription drugs.

The acoustic guitar-backed “U & Us” feels like Quinn’s first true love song — or at least the first one where his pain is palpable. It’s an emotional ballad that could be a hit for any number of popstars, but Quinn keeps it for himself.

From Michigan with Love’s production is a tuned-up version of what we’ve come to expect from the rising star. Signing to Logic and Jon Bellion’s Visionary Music Group in April 2018 likely gave Quinn more resources at his disposal, and it comes through in his project. The song “Autopilot” contains especially crisp and nuanced production.

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There seems to be some growth when it comes to rapping as well for Quinn XCII. Similar to his last album, the majority of tracks contain singsong-y verses, but he does give us glimpses of what could be true MC ability. “When I Die,” in particular, contains a verse with creative rhyme patterns and accelerated flow.

However, Quinn’s rapping on the project is “two steps forward, one step back”. While it might not be his goal to be taken seriously as a rapper, he’s not helping his progress with some of the corny lines embedded in his raps. “Werewolf” is a low point on the album and the hook’s peak, “You’re moonlight, I’m werewolf,” makes me roll my eyes.

The album’s title indicates Quinn XCII paying homage to his home state, but the references to his youth or Michigan stop there — listeners don’t get many specific details from him. Sometimes, it’s a good thing because it makes the song’s message more relatable for a wider audience. But it also leads to the project feeling a bit hollow. His name tells us what year he was born, and this album’s title tells us where he’s from; that’s about all we know about the guy from this album.

Despite this vagueness, Quinn still delivers an impressive effort on this project, especially considering it’s only his second full-length album. He wrote on Twitter that it “was the most challenging body of work for [him] to ever finish,” and that hard work will need to continue for him to keep progressing as an artist. If you missed him at his SEE-hosted performance in November, head over to The Fillmore in Silver Spring when he stops by on March 1.

CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, a previous version of the excerpt on this story incorrectly stated that ‘From Michigan with Love’ has 14 songs. The article has been updated.