Better Than Ezra

Every revolution has its heroes. You know, the legendary figures, poster children for their given cause. They usually get T-shirts, eventually to be worn by teenaged mall-dwellers who were nowhere near the revolution in the first place and who have little notion of what it all meant. Then there are the others. Sometimes they were actually there first, but more often than not, they take up the banner after the first shots are fired, trying both to add to and borrow from the momentum.

Better Than Ezra is one of these others. While often decried as mere college-rock hangers-on, BTE were really revolutionaries in their own right. Sure, they borrowed heavily from the slightly off-kilter sounds of mid-1990s indie heroes like Dinosaur Jr., but they did something that their more "legit" contemporaries never could: They brought that music to the masses, combining elements of subversion into a more universally palatable pop sound. Though they didn't keep their position for very long, BTE's entry into the top of the charts was one of the many alt-pop wedges that helped open up the airwaves of the early 1990s. They may not have been the revolution, but they certainly helped raise the level of discourse.

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Nicholas L. Hall
Contact: Nicholas L. Hall