the guy is absolutely brilliant. Aside from being a fantastic blues guitarist who is well steeped in the blues tradition, he is a great singer and an amazing songwriter. You may knock his pop material, but when it comes down to it, those early records are brilliant. They all have complex chord structures, guitar parts and lyrical devices. Though they may seem like bubble gum pop, there are very few people who can write music like that, its not easy. He is the ONLY guy (not Joe B., not KWS, not Los Lonley Boys), the ONLY guy under the age of 60 who can do a tour of the US playing huge stadiums, arenas and amphitheaters working blues music and blues guitar into the set. I recently just saw him live and he places tunes like "Crossroads" into the set, along with his pop hits. By making the pop records, he is allowing a whole new generation of youth to learn about the blues tradition, and who guys like Buddy Guy, B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughan are. Also, Clapton went pop...and like Clapton, Mayer always lets the blues ring prevalent in his material. He is a great musician, and anybody who judges him based on his pop material doesn't understand that it is part of his message and his art.