Oh please! If someone's critical response is different from your own it must be because they just want to be cool? How simplistic.
The problem with ALW is he makes such bombastic claims in his attempt to sell a show that he puts himself front and centre in the firing line. You don't hear Sondheim- or Wildhorn, Jason Robert Brown or Michael John LaChiusa for that matter- proclaiming this or that to be their greatest score, or this person to be the greatest leading lady, or this or that to be the last show with decent songs. They have a little more grace, tact and sense. So he sets himself up to be knocked down- and worse still, the mediocrity of his recent work gives critics plenty of ammunition.
Sadly, this topic seemed ripe for drama, and the "cool" setting would be ideal for another score of 'JCS' or 'Evita', quality, but it appears ALW hasn't got one of those left in him.