These are my top 12 favorite albums of 2005. That's right, I said "my" not "our." That's because once a year at SFist we get crazy and write a post in the first person (and also because my fellow SFist music writers probably have wildly different favorites of their own).

Sufjan Stevens Illinois
Young, ambitious, talented, and accomplished, Sufjan Stevens has topped the majority of 2005’s Best Of lists his own way, on tiny independent label Asthmatic Kitty. Most people are still mispronouncing his name (say it with me: ‘soof-yawn’) but most music lovers have definitely heard of him. You know the story by now, he’s making an album about every U.S. state. He’s done Michigan, and this year he released his magnificent ode to Illinois. This concept is not a crutch; it’s a great way for him to focus his overflowing talent and vision. His voice, his melodies and lyrics, the arrangements and instrumentation, it’s all layered and transcendent. The controlled chaos of his live show is a celebratory spectacle: more than a dozen players mill about onstage, in uniform, performing songs and cheers with sincerity and a sense of humor. If I ever get the chance, I want to pinch Sufjan to make sure he’s real.
Listen to Sufjan and the Illinoisemakers spinning on WNYC. Buy Illinois.

Read the rest after the jump.