After spending three years in seclusion, Madder Rose returned in 1997 with Tragic Magic. While indie jangle pop remains at the core of their sound, the group was smart enough to branch out on their comeback record. As if to signal that they were still hip, Madder Rose incorporated heavy elements of trip-hop on Tragic Magic, and while that gambit failed for some of their peers, the band manages to blend the dance and guitar-pop well. The trip-hop rhythms are balanced with washes of guitar noise and catchy melodies, resulting in a record that straddles the line between indie classicism and modern pop.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine