Donuts Alright, Still Back to Black St. Elsewhere
Back to Basics Whatever People Say I Am Ys Hell Hath No Fury

Sure, it was only three years ago, but we are still crazy about 2006's debuts (Lily Allen, Arctic Monkeys, Burial), breakouts (Amy Winehouse, Gnarls Barkley), bold makeovers (Christina Aguilera), and early farewells (J Dilla), not to mention the less eventful but nonetheless excellent releases from the established veterans (Ghostface Killah, Jarvis Cocker, Sonic Youth). Over a couple hundred favorite albums and singles of 2006 are listed by our editors. Maybe you'll discover, or be reminded of, a few that you missed. The AllMusic Loves series will continue to roll through this first decade of the 2000s during the next few weeks, as we will revisit 2007 and 2008 prior to looking back at 2009.

Heather Phares
Li Alin - All In
Bat for Lashes - Fur and Gold
Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
The Blow - Paper Television
Clinic - Visitations
Cornelius - Sensuous
The Futureheads - News and Tributes
Goldfrapp - Supernature
Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
His Name Is Alive - Detrola
Johann Johannsson - IBM 1401, A User's Manual
The Knife - Silent Shout
Matmos - The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast
Metronomy - Pip Paine (Pay the £5000 You Owe)
Joanna Newsom - Ys
Benoît Pioulard - Precis
Planningtorock - Have It All
Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
Xela - The Dead Sea

Be Your Own Pet - "Adventure"
The Long Blondes - "Once and Never Again"
The Raconteurs - "Broken Boy Soldier" (YouTube)
Scissor Sisters - "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'"
Peaches - "Boys Wanna Be Her"
CSS - "Music Is My Hot Hot Sex"
Imitation Electric Piano - "I Mean Wow"
Giddy Motors - "East River Pipe"
Matmos - "Solo Buttons For Joe Meek"
Goldfrapp - "Satin Chic" (YouTube)

Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Lily Allen - Alright, Still
Toby Keith - White Trash with Money
Bob Dylan - Modern Times
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
Jarvis Cocker - Jarvis
Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
Christina Aguilera - Back to Basics
Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
Donald Fagen - Morph the Cat
Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint - The River in Reverse
The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth

Nelly Furtado - "Maneater"
Christina Aguilera - "Ain't No Other Man"
Scissor Sisters - "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'"
Nelly Furtado - "Promiscuous"
Lily Allen - "Smile"
Lily Allen - "LDN"
Arctic Monkeys - "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor"
Gnarls Barkley - "Crazy"
Rihanna - "SOS"
Taylor Hicks - "The Runaround"

John Bush
Spank Rock - YoYoYoYoYo
Christina Aguilera - Back to Basics
Matthew Friedberger - Winter Women/Holy Ghost Language School
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
Burial - Burial
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I Am Not
Robbie Williams - Rudebox
Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
Persephone's Bees - Notes from the Underworld
The Knife - Silent Shout
Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go
Razorlight - Razorlight
J Dilla - Donuts
The Sword - Age of Winters
Lily Allen - Alright, Still
The Beauty Room - The Beauty Room
Brightblack Morning Light - Brightblack Morning Light

Christina Aguilera - "Ain't No Other Man"
Spank Rock - "Bump"
Gnarls Barkley - "Crazy"
Matthew Friedberger - "Up the River
Robbie Williams - "The 90's"
Band of Horses - "The Funeral"
M. Ward - "Chinese Translation"
Joan as Policewoman - "I Defy"
Amy Winehouse - "Love Is a Losing Game"
Young and Sexy - "The Curious Organ"
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - "Cursed Sleep"
Regina Spektor - "Fidelity"
Arctic Monkeys - "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor"
Persephone's Bees - "Nice Day"
Destroyer - "European Oils"
Cat Power - "Could We"
OK Go - "Here It Goes Again"
Razorlight - "In the Morning"
Ray LaMontagne - "Barfly"
The Rakes - "Retreat"

Matt Collar
Aberfeldy - Do Whatever Turns You On
Lily Allen - Alright, Still
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Jon Auer - Songs from the Year of Our Demise
Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
Jarvis Cocker - Jarvis
Graham Coxon - Love Travels at Illegal Speeds
Cut Off Your Hands - Shaky Hands
Earl Greyhound - Soft Targets
The Futureheads - News and Tributes
The Hot Chip - The Warning
James Hunter - People Gonna Talk
John Mayer - Continuum
Joanna Newsom - Ys
Pia Fraus - Nature Heart Software
The Pipettes - We Are the Pipettes
Phoenix - It's Never Been Like That
Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
The Walkmen - A Hundred Miles Off

Greg Heaney
The Thermals - The Body, the Blood, the Machine
SSM - SSM
Girl Talk - Night Ripper
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
Muse - Black Holes and Revelations
Jesu - Silver
The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
Converge - No Heroes
Murs and 9th Wonder - Murray's Revenge
The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
Melvins - A Senile Animal
Cult of Luna - Somewhere Along the Highway
J Dilla - The Shining
Mouth of the Architect - Ties That Bind
Birdman & Lil Wayne - Like Father Like Son
Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics
Isis - In the Absence of Truth
Burst - Origo
Mogwai - Mr. Beast
Envy - Insomniac Doze

Andy Kellman
J Dilla - Donuts
Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury
Scott Walker - The Drift
Mathias Kaden & Onur Özer - Momentum
Herbert - Scale
Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
Cassy - Panorama Bar, Vol. 1
The Beauty Room - The Beauty Room
T.I. - King
The Roots - Game Theory
Dabrye - Two/Three
Burial - Burial
Telefon Tel Aviv - Map of What Is Effortless
Beyoncé - B'day
Georgia Anne Muldrow - Olesi: Fragments of an Earth
Henrik Schwarz - DJ-Kicks
Owusu & Hannibal - Living With...
Convextion - Convextion
Bugz in the Attic - Back in the Doghouse
Thom Yorke - The Eraser

Herbert - "Harmonise"
Escort - "Starlight"
T.I. - "What You Know"
Christina Aguilera - "Ain't No Other Man"
Alice Smith - "Love Endeavor [Maurice Fulton Remix]"
Lupe Fiasco - "Kick Push"
Sa-Ra - "Hollywood"
Kode9 + the Space Ape - "Backward"
Ciara - "Promise"
Cassie - "Me & U"
J Dilla - "Won't Do"
Cassy - "Toyah"
Kelis - "Bossy"
Omarion - "Ice Box"
Prince - "Black Sweat"
Lawrence - "Off the Line"
Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom - "Relevee [Carl Craig Remix]"
Mary J. Blige - "Take Me as I Am"
Justus Köhncke & Dirk Leyers - "An Ounce of Memories"
Kathy Diamond - "All Woman"

Uncle Dave Lewis
2006 was a great year for piano players -- the classical music industry had reached its nadir. Even in 1932 -- the worst year ever for the record industry as a whole, when only 125,000 units shipped in the US -- classical had remained strong, but in '06 there were hardly any releases of orchestral music or opera. One amazing exception was Fabio Biondi's recording of Vivaldi's ultra-rare Bajazet, featuring the astoundingly versatile soprano Vivica Genaux; also in opera, the year witnessed a genuine dud -- Roger Waters' Ça Ira. String quartets did well likewise; it seems that getting small is the best strategy when times are especially hard, and ever since 2006, classical has been gradually fighting its way back.

Toshiko Akiyoshi - Hope
Lera Auerbach plays her Preludes and Dreams
Fabio Biondi - Vivaldi: Bajazet
Del Sol String Quartet - George Antheil: The Complete Works for String Quartet
Florilegium - Telemann: Paris Quartets
Leon MacCawley - Hans Gál: The Complete Piano Works
Konrad Junghanel, Cantus Cölln - Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri
Sinae Lee - Karol Szymanowski: The Complete Works for Piano
Jenny Lin - The Eleventh Finger
Gabriela Montero - Bach and Beyond
Christopher O'Riley - Home to Oblivion: An Elliott Smith Tribute
Quartet San Francisco - Latigo
So Percussion - Amid the Noise
Jürgen Sonnentheil - Wilhelm Middelschulte: Goldberg Variations
Thomas Tirino - Ernesto Nazareth: Music for Solo Piano
Gerd Zacher: Orgelwerke
The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra - 'Round the Christmas Tree

Jason Lymangrover
Boris - Pink
Built to Spill - You in Reverse
Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury
The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
The Futureheads - News and Tributes
Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
Girl Talk - Night Ripper
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
Herbert - Scale
The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
J Dilla - Donuts
Love Is All - Nine Times That Same Song
The Marked Men - Fix My Brain
Mission to Burma - The Obliterati
Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
Spank Rock - YoYoYoYoYo
The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth
TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
Welcome - Sirs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones

James Christopher Monger
Agalloch - Ashes Against the Grain
Muse - Black Holes and Revelations
Danielson - Ships
Goldfrapp - Supernature
The Sword - Age of Winters
Final Fantasy - He Poos Clouds
M. Ward - Post-War
The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
Blind Guardian - A Twist in the Myth
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go
Jeremy Enigk - World Waits
The Hidden Cameras - Awoo
Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 - Olé! Tarantula
Espers - II
A Hawk and a Hacksaw - The Way the Wind Blows
Shearwater - Palo Santo
James Raynard - Strange Histories
Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther
Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah
I - Between Two Worlds

Guillemots - "Trains to Brazil"
Neko Case - "Star Witness"
Augie March - "One Crowded Hour"
Lindsay Buckingham - "It Was You"
Clearlake - "No Kind of Life"
Destroyer - "Rubies"
The Hold Steady - "Stuck Between Stations"
Ron Sexsmith - "The Grim Trucker"
TV on the Radio - "Hours"
Josh Ritter - "Girl in the War"
The Futureheads - "Worry About It Later"
Susanna & the Magical Orchestra - "It's a Long Way to the Top"
The Flaming Lips - "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song"
Korpiklaani - "Rise"
Jarvis Cocker - "Black Magic"
Charlotte Gainsbourg - "The Songs That We Sing"
Belle & Sebastian - "Act of the Apostle"
Beck - "Cellphone's Dead"
Lily Allen - "Smile"
Devotchka - "Last Beat of My Heart"

Tim Sendra
Lullaby Baxter - Garden Cities of To-morrow
The Bicycles - The Good the Bad and the Cuddly
Camera Obscura - Let’s Get Out of This Country
J Dilla - Donuts
The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
Hot Chip - The Warning
I'm from Barcelona - Let Me Introduce My Friends
Love Is All - Nine Times That Same Song
Madlib - The Beat Konducta, Vol. 1-2
Peter Bjorn and John - Writer's Block

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