16. LATE REGISTRATION (2005)
Artist: Kanye West
Production: Kanye West, Jon Brion
Acclaim: Kanye graduates to a grander orchestra on his sophomore LP, with all his loveable wit, conspiracy theorizing ("Crack Music"), bombast and society questioning intact. He still makes you dance, too. ("Gold Digger")
Peak moment: The dramatic piano-MPC-and-strings segue of “Gone,” which sets up a passionate 16-bar encore from Mr. West.