Perhaps the reason I like it as much as I do is that my expectations were completely in the toilet after Erik's departure. I was expecting garbage... and it's not. I find it quite enjoyable, even if not Tearing Down the Walls level.
Unlike with the Journey album, I'm not hearing the production issues people are complaining about, at least not to that degree. It's a hot mix to be sure, but it's not impacting my listening or enjoyment as with Journey. I also wonder if again, the source/platform is making a difference. I'm listening to uncompressed FLAC straight from disc, not streaming or some bit-starved promo files.