There has been quite a bit of talk on this site about clipping, showing graphs, and giving you some idea of what it sounds like.
Most of my listening over the past couple days has been over a Wav file (not MP3, M4A) on my iPod to get some idea of what exactly is going on with my own ears.
I have come up with an example which I believe supports the "Clipping" argument.
The sample that I have provided is a 5 second clip from Auctioneer about 1:50 minutes into the song. If you listen to Michael sing "Leave" you will hear distinct "Static" or as Drew had described it shear. Now if you compare this to your earlier version of Fables of the Reconstruction, there is no "Static/Shear" occurring.
This one was the more apparent moments that I found on the album, although I did hear some others during the entire album where similar incidents like this occur.
Now this issue is also very prevalent on the Demos as well, definitely moreso. However, since there is nothing to compare them to, this to me is the bigger disappointment.
Now, I do find some type of humor, mind you when REM sent out an email yesterday listing this site as a place to find information on the latest Deluxe Edition but how can I with a straight face tell you to buy an album that was not mastered properly?
This is really unacceptable.
Initially, I was going to take the easy road and say that maybe this campaign can make a difference on future recordings but maybe there is a time to say that people who bought this album can go to a site and at least download a better copy.
I guess what it comes down to is just a sloppy job altogether.