My girlfriend has asked for my opinion on a few dishes that she has been experimenting with, and not being particularly well-versed in the language used to discuss food, I have been having trouble expressing my opinion on two specific dishes (namely, a stew using ground beef and a Thai curry with chicken).
I have eaten several different versions of both dishes over several months, so I have developed a pretty good sense of which versions of them I like the best. We have also tried similar dishes from local restaurants in order to have a common reference point. Generally, I think that the dishes taste fine, but sometimes I feel that they become "bland" (for lack of a better word) from too many spices.
What I mean is that sometimes when she prepares them she will use only a few specific spices or none at all and more fresh ingredients. To me, these versions taste the best. They have strong, distinct flavors, and I think that they taste more like the restaurant dishes that we've compared them to. However, she usually finds these versions under-seasoned, so she also experiments with adding lots of different spices. When she does this, she still isn't happy with the result but she says that the dishes taste more "complete" or more "harmonious" or just generally better. On the other hand, I think that these versions taste same-y or bland, which she doesn't understand since there are objectively more flavors in the dish. I have tried to describe it like the flavor equivalent of that color of brown you get when you mix all the paints together or if an orchestra just played all the instruments at once without regard to the timing.
To me, these versions sort of feel like filling in all the nooks and crannies of the flavor landscape to make the experience boring and flat. She says that I just don't understand flavor and that that's not a thing that happens. She says that adding more flavors complement and round-out the taste.
I am nowhere near as knowledgeable about food words as my girlfriend, and she also has a much more sensitive and discerning palate than I do. So it may be possible that I am just a bad food critic, but I would really like to understand my experience better and hopefully communicate it better to my girlfriend. My question is this: Is there such a thing as "the flavor equivalent of the color brown" in the sense that too many different flavors can make food sort of taste bland? If so, is there a technical way to describe that sensation?