Released late in 2014, Stephen Doster’s Arizona wasted no time in getting the attention of music journalists, landing in the top spot of Best of 2014 listings for music journalists Jim Caligiuri and Peter Blackstock.
Caligiuri, long-time music writer for the Austin Chronicle hailed Arizona as a 4-Star “masterpiece.” Acknowledging that Doster is legitimately among a handful of “under-appreciated” Austin musicians, Caligiuri projects that Arizona will likely bring Doster the long overdue attention and praise he rightfully deserves. About Arizona, Caligiuri lauds Doster saying that he “manages one charmed melody after another, never failing to engage the listener on several levels in a manner that’s bewitching and rare.” At year’s end, Caligiuri also placed Arizona at #1 on his “Best of 2014” list, ahead of other notable releases from Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, as well as Dale Watson, Eliza Gilkyson, Ian McLagan, Kat Edmondson and Spanish Gold, among others. To read, Jim Caligiuri’s full review of Arizona, go here.
Over at the American-Statesman, Peter Blackstock likewise took notice of Arizona at year’s end, noting its “brilliant, sophisticated pop songcraft” and placed it at the top of his “Best of 2014” list, which included releases from Willie Nelson, The Mastersons, “Grammy Chair” Christine Albert, Ian McLagan and the widely hailed “Live at The Gallery” from Elias Haslanger & Church on Monday, among others. Name-checking several of Arizona’s musical highlights including “Pistol Pete,” “Second Story Balcony” and the title track, Blackstock praises Arizona’s songs and notes the “sophisticated melodic twists and turns that connect instantly, yet reward repeated listens.” In the final analysis, Blackstock calls Arizona an “exquisitely crafted classic” and “one of the best records our city has produced this year.” To read the full review from Peter Blackstock, go here.