I would be inclined to say that's a less typical context, but on the other hand it doesn't actually sound wrong, either. Maybe others will comment.
Anyway, here are a bunch more examples, from the Wortschatz Uni-Leipzig text corpus, to give you some ideas of typical contexts.
• Beane also blasts his employers for failing to provide adequate security to ensure his safety.
• Prof blasts sick-day clause (April 7)
• The ad blasts his Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo., for voting in favor of legislation providing "tax breaks for oil companies."
• Since the publication also blasts Nicolas Sarkozy in the same issue, is it time to start not hanging out with Germany so much? (source: gawker.com/5073788/germany-is-not-hugely-fond-of-us-right-now)
• The letter blasts Child Protective Services for having "no credibility" and says the agency "manufactured" 262 cases of child abuse.
• Rights activist blasts police investigation into British girl's alleged killing in India
• actress ... has been blasted by fans and feminists for her physique because they feel she is too "emaciated" to portray the series' action heroine.
• A religious group and some Russian government officials have blasted the channel — known as 2X2 — for airing teen- and adult-oriented cartoons
• The arrangement was proposed after majority of the delegates blasted the Chief Minister for his omissions and commissions. (source: khaleejtimes.com/ ...)
• In Kayunga, the state minister for elderly, Sulaiman Madada, yesterday blasted the dissenters, saying Satan was using them to disorganise Islam in Uganda (source: allafrica.com/ ...)
• The United Nations blasted Myanmar's military government Friday, saying its refusal to let in foreign aid workers to help victims of a devastating cyclone was "unprecedented" in the history of humanitarian work.
• Vice-President Dick Cheney, at an economic meeting Saturday in Italy, blasted Russian actions in the war as an "affront to civilized standards"
• The event was a concert/meal and my table companion blasted me for living in the South
• Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., blasted Cheney, saying that for a vice president to openly display "such contempt and astounding ignorance toward his own countrymen" was an insult to all Americans.
• Defense attorneys blasted the military commissions, which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2006 before being resurrected in an altered form by Congress and President Bush.
• Former Auburn alum Charles Barkley publicly blasted his alma mater for not hiring Gill, an African American
• bloggers ... blasted the company for releasing only a small handful of the add-ons since Vista's debut in January of that year.
(Your own sentence in #10 was also a perfect example, by the way, but let's hope that with all this evidence it won't come to that. (-: )
Its true sense should be considerably stronger than just 'criticized,' but it also seems to be used sometimes just to liven up a sentence, make it more vivid.
I might paraphrase it as 'criticized harshly,' 'criticized in a scathing tone,' maybe 'lambasted,' which Pons-Collins translates as 'fertig machen' or 'es jdm. wegen etw. tüchtig geben.'
Maybe now you or others will have other ideas for the German side.