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World Cafe 30th Anniversary Playlist: 2011

World Cafe continues it's 30th Anniversary Celebration with a playlist from 2011
World Cafe continues it's 30th Anniversary Celebration with a playlist from 2011

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of World Cafe, we're looking back and posting playlists from each year of the show. As music has evolved over the years, so have our playlists, which have grown to reflect a much wider range of music than when we first set out.

It's interesting to see how the music media weighed in on the best albums of 2011. For example, Pitchfork and Paste both selected Bon Iver's self-titled album as the No. 1 album of the year. Rolling Stone's was 21 by Adele. Stereogum's best album of the year was Father, Son, Holy Ghost by Girls, and Bob Boilen's No. 1 album of the year was Diamond Mine by King Creosote & Jon Hopkins. NME chose PJ Harvey's Let England Shake as its best album of the year, and Spin's was David Comes To Life by F***** Up.

While year-end lists are just a snapshot in time, 2011 was an exemplary year, regardless of where your favorite records landed. Hip-hop highlights included Drake's Take Care and Watch The Throne by Jay-Z and Ye. We were blown away by great musical voices including James Blake, Tune-Yards, The Civil Wars and Florence + The Machine. Radiohead weighed in with The King of Limbs, and Arcade Fire spawned the Who Is Arcade Fire meme when the band won the album of the year Grammy award for its 2010 release, The Suburbs. On the sadder side of the year, we lost Amy Winehouse in July of 2011, and with the consent of her family, Lioness: Hidden Treasures was released posthumously in December.

Copyright 2022 XPN

Bruce Warren is assistant general manager for programming of WXPN in Philadelphia. Besides serving as executive producer of World Café, Warren also contributes to Paste magazine and writes for two blogs: Some Velvet Blog and WXPN's All About The Music Blog.