I enjoy it a lot but it's not her greatest effort. The amount of collaborations ruins the cohesiveness and it feels like a compilation album that was quickly put together. Is it enjoyable and fun? Yes. It's perfect to listen when you want to chill. Is it a cohesive and solid effort of an album? No, since half of it features other artists and Shakira doesn't have time to shine on her own. The album, like you said, doesn't have many highs.
I don't remember people being angry about ED though. I remember fans complained about the features and the reggaeton overload but i don't recall anger. On the other hand, self titled received more harsh feedback due to its adult contemporary sound.
I feel like the lack of effort for El Dorado was partly due to the failure of the self-titled, both critically and commercially for her standards. I think she even alluded to this actually. Plus, raising newborns. That's why she said "music is a hobby" back in 2017.
And partly because we, Shakira fans, are so damn critical of her. She Wolf was roasted when it came out, (hence why she tried "returning to her roots" with SES), but now it has became appreciated by a lot of people (including non fans). The same turnaround will probably happen with Sale El Sol soon (and maybe even the self titled, in a few years lmao).
Oddly enough, I feel like her next album will have more effort, simply because:
- the vocal hemorrhage scare
- Along with the initial backlash to the collaborations
- her babies are older
- the tour success probably made her realize how much people still really love her and her music. (Like when she performed in Mexico, and every fan knew and sang all the lyrics to Antologia, or how during her final performance in Colombia, she started to cry, etc. Also, the amount of buzz from publications about the tour and how it's been a return to form/comeback story for her.)
I feel like all of this is gonna put some more inspiration into her.
...Obviously, she'll probably still do the same strategy of putting out singles one at a time before the album... but hey, as long as those songs are great (and the album has a little less collaborations), is that really a bad thing?