Wow - lots of goodies released mid-decade, meaning lots of money spent at Madison's Strictly Discs back in ought-five.
Low - The Great Destroyer
My favorite record of the year marked a big change in sound for this Duluth-based band. Eschewing the quiet austere "slow core" sound of their previous six albums. The Great Destroyer saw Low literally turn up the amps and flesh out their minimalist sound. Overall, it's still a low record - ethereal, restrained and intense. Standout tracks: California, When I Go Deaf, Walk Into The Sea.
The Bats - At The National Grid
The Frames - Burn The Maps
The Hold Steady - Separation Sunday
The Mountain Goats - Sunset Tree
My Morning Jacket - Z
(a very close second to the Low record)
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
Rogue Wave - Descended Like Vultures
Ryan Adams - 29/Cold Roses/Jacksonville City Nights
(Private message to Mr. R. Adams - please resume taking drugs. 2005's output confirms that the music/art you create when high/stoned is much better than your sober stuff. Thank you)
Spoon - Gimmie Fiction
Sufjan Stevens - Come On Feel The Illinoise!
The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
Wilco - Kicking Television