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Death Cab for Cutie, Pete Wentz, 3OH!3's Favorite Albums of 2009

December 31, 2009 12:00 AM ET

Rolling Stone unveiled our Best Albums and Best Songs of 2009 — now it's the artists' turn. Check out who Death Cab for Cutie, Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz and 3OH!3 had on repeat this year (and read Kings of Leon's Jared Followill's picks):

Death Cab for Cutie

Brand New Eyes by Paramore
Chris Walla: "I was surprised at what a totally well-written, well-constructed record it was, and I guess I wasn't expecting that totally. I wasn't sure if they were going to turn into something super accomplished or fluffy. But it's pretty tough!"

Tight Knit by Vetiver
Ben Gibbard: "It's a very easy, California-type record that flows really nicely."

Magnolia by the Wooden Birds
Walla: "It's the best batch of songs he's ever written. It's this guy Andrew Kenny who used to be in the American Analog Set who we're friends with from way back when, it's a beautiful record."

Gibbard: "I think it's up there with the best three albums he's ever made. He made a singer-songwriter record but did it the right way. It has a lot of space in it — I feel like the last couple of years we've been drowning in music in reverb a little too much. This is a nice dry record."

Pete Wentz
Hot Mess by Cobra Starship
"I think there's a lot of bands that try really hard to be serious and there are a lot of people that try too hard to have fun, but they're genuinely fun guys and it came through on this record."

The Blueprint 3 by Jay-Z
"It's the best record of the year. It's just an angry hot record."

3OH!3
It's Not Me, It's You by Lily Allen

Nate Motte: "The producer, Greg Kurstin, is an idol of mine, and she writes great lyrics. It's a really charming record."

Man on the Moon: The End of Day by Kid Cudi
Sean Foreman: "I think he's an innovative rapper. He brings something new to the table and he's not afraid to get a little experimental with what he does."

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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