I was thinking exactly the same thing the other day. It could just be familiarity, too. I identify the latter style with Trek, since it was used for most of TNG and all of DS9. It's familiar. S1 and S2, while more interesting, sound a bit more jarring to me.
...for better or worse.
Yeah, I'm certainly not saying the later style was ALL great-- the lack of exciting action music always frustrated the hell out of me as a kid-- but the general, overall mood
just seemed like a much better fit with the show, and seemed like a better reflection of the more mature and dignified Picard as well.
The previous style seemed like it belonged more with the swashbuckling Captain Kirk.