Kanye West - Late Registration (2xLP)
For haters that were eager to see Kanye West hit a sophomore slump--no such luck. Late Registration doesn't replicate the novelty of his debut, College Dropout, but otherwise, this is an impressively more mature and labored-over album. Lyrically, Kanye's only improved a notch but musically, the album sounds incredible, especially with co-producer Jon Brion helping polish the songs to perfection. Ranked on nearly every major music critic's Best of 2005 list.