The music is fine, although a bit more mellow than his last album, but it has a couple of catchy tracks that i enjoy. However my comment on quality is really more towards the actual recorded sound. It just doesn't sound particularly good (certainly no Norah Jones and her latest album IS stellar in music and in quality). I actually looked on the back of the Mayer cd and noticed that Sony-BMG was the primary, highlighting "Columbia Viva Tonal Recording" in various spots.
Perhaps Alan can weigh in on the meaning of that, but if it means they are using some specific method of recording, i think it sucks. The music sounds muted and the tone of the voice is just not right with the instruments. It is akin to listening to a person play an instrument part in a quiet, soft walled room while the singer is in a hard walled bathroom with a 1945 mic. The midrange is thin. The tone just sounds off.
I'm hoping that the last Mayer album was produced differently. I don't have a copy yet but the high bit rate mp3s sound very good on my office system.
Mind you, alot of the Pearl Jam albums i have also sound harsh which really pains me as well. Good artists with bad record companies or bad ideas?
Not that Sony has ever done anything to harm the consumer buying music...