As always, my reaction to him says more about me than it does the music.
His comment: "Maybe not."
I believe I understand what he is getting at with this, but I was very careful in how I worded my response to Mr. Adams's music. When I said "it doesn't speak to me", I meant that and nothing more. I didn't state an opinion of the quality and/or value of his music because I've never studied it enough to feel qualified to render one. I was released from my duties as a columnist for the American Record Guide for similar ideas about how new music could be reviewed.
I didn't get Brahms until graduate school, and now he's one of my favorites. I didn't get Mozart until even more recently. But even before then, I had studied enough of their music to know better than to say that my dislike said anything meaningful about the music itself, but might reveal something about me. I've not had any experiences since then to change that fundamental idea. An up or down evaluation of a work of art or an artist tells me next to nothing about the art or artist, but it does tell me something about the evaluator. Enough of these data points from a critic/observer and I can get a pretty good idea about how their tastes may or may not align with mine.
Naturally, when the criticism goes beyond an overall evaluation, the criticism can tell me something about the work or artist in question. But most of the time, I learn more about the writer--and that's not necessarily bad, as I've indicated. When I have an opinion on something, I'll try to state it clearly and with backing arguments.
When I merely like something or don't especially like it, I'll say that, too.