Leap into life here:
If you're in a band, have a label, distro, radio show, friends, etc. you're going to have people close to you in the industry.
They're going to put out some sub-standard stuff.
You have two choices:
1. Socially wrong, artistcally/realistically correct: don't mention it, don't support it, don't endorse it.
2. Socially correct, economically correct: put it on your best-of=nnnn list and tell people how great it is.
This is a real problem when they're your friends for several decades. You didn't like the latest, bro? -- none of us really want to say it sucks.
But something like that is what's required. Our society is just too immature for that. And people are too prole-ish to realize that lying about something means that a lack of faith arrangement is created which will lead to greater abandonment later.
DMU stays apart at great expense. We don't get social with people, and we try to be super-functional. To most it appears cold, unfeeling, perhaps Aspie-ish. But the fact is that it's the price of our freedom to say what we need to.
If we didn't exercise this option, and didn't have troubling views, we'd be famous and rich on the nu-popularity contest that is the internet. We choose being right instead.
The downside of this: we hate almost everything.
The upside: praise from us is worth 100x more than from any other site, hence the weird ability DMU has to be a kingmaker.
Over the last 20+ years, we've done a lot of good with this. (We = site founders + a changing cast of volunteers who do all the hard work.)
Am I ambivalent about this? Sometimes it makes me sad. I'd like to be friends with people in the underground more. But I'd just disappoint them so I stay away.
Are there other times I feel good about it? Most of the time. These end of year lists really bring it out, though; seeing writers who should know better listing their advertisers' crap output, fully knowing they'd never listen to it except at work, makes me feel better about keeping independence.
But one in a thousand people will understand why.