I like something Gordon Ramsay stresses in his show "Ramsay Best Restaurant", a UK show that has different restaurants compete against each other. The best part of the show is when he sends in undercover diners to find out what the restaurants are like when they don't know that they are being evaluated.
This provides invaluable feedback for the owners, chefs and staff that will really help to make the restaurant shine where it is weak and in areas that no one is paying attention to because the glow from awards and face to face customer feedback is so overwhelmingly congratulatory. Ramsay stresses over and over that he wants and needs the negative feedback so that he can immediately fix things, make them better and just improve.
The Steve Elman interview was quite positive and I think provided a similar service to what I mentioned above. Rave reviews are great, and maybe they really help album sales, but in the long run, the value of constructive criticism and negative feedback will only make you stronger if let it.