Starting today I’ll be counting down my 40 favorite albums of 2011. My top ten choices will run in the Reader‘s Year in Review issue, which ought to hit the street Wednesday evening. I truly love all this music, but take the rankings with a grain of salt—and please bear in mind that I’m not trying to be definitive. OK, let’s roll.

40. Tom Waits, Bad As Me (Anti-) The rheumy, dyspeptic cartoon Tom Waits plays on his albums has become predictable on recent efforts, but on Bad As Me the songwriting and performances maintain the upper hand over the theater.