Will, I'd have to agree. The original logo had a very distinguished digital aesthetic and the new logo seems like a demotion. I don't think I'm exaggerating when that the loss of this very familiar logo marks the end of an era for the MIDI community.
The logo is based on the visual representation of the 440 Hz A note (also known as Stuttgart Pitch), which is used as the tuning standard for musical instruments. I don't like it either, but given that this logo is tied to the bi-directional MIDI 2.0 certification, it does not, by definition, replace the vintage MIDI logo.
By the way, there is a video on YouTube in which experienced designers share their impressions of this logo.