Michelle Shocked

Artists Make Lousy Slaves

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Independently produced and sold during her First Annual Underground Test Site Tour in the Spring/Summer of 1996, Artists Make Lousy Slaves is a collaboration with Hothouse Flowers' Fianchna O'Braonain -- the two wrote most of the material together and appear as the sole musicians. The title refers to her long battle to free herself from her former label, Mercury Records, but while this album certainly gives the impression of relief, it fails to capture the raw energy and joy of the tour which celebrates the dissolving of her contract -- the songs are instead pleasantly reflective and low-key. It may not be groundbreaking or particularly representative, but Artists Make Lousy Slaves is a nice treat for those fans lucky enough to have witnessed the tour.