Spin - "The Chiptune-influenced 'Another Voyage' sounds like an homage to her early love for genre innovators Yellow Magic Orchestra."
Alternative Press - "With its background ripped straight from '80s video games and its foreground featuring rip-roaring guitar, SCIENCE AND MAGIC bridges a gap between goofy nostalgia and a welcome adventure."
Personnel: Lil BUB (vocals); Diederik van Wassenaer (violin, viola); Jae Yoon Choi (cello); Katie Garringer (oboe); Jacob Darrow (bassoon); Ben Lumsdaine (drum set, percussion); Matt Tobey (electronics).
Audio Mixer: Mike Bridavsky.
Liner Note Author: Andrew W.K.
Recording information: Russian Recording.
With her worldwide celebrity status and deep connections within the indie music community, it was only a matter of time before Indiana's favorite saucer-eyed feline released an album. Adopted in 2011 by Bloomington-based musician/producer Mike Bridavsky, Lil BUB quickly became an internet hero with her own blog, social media pages, and merchandise line. It's a sweet story, really. A down-on-his-luck Midwestern rock musician adopts a good-natured, irregularly equipped kitten from a feral litter and within a couple of years finesses her into a figurehead for special needs animals and adoption agencies across the country. Yes, BUB has been trundled around on various media tours, photographed with stars, and been the subject of an award-winning documentary, but it's hard to criticize Bridavsky for exploiting his beloved cat when he keeps donating a large portion of her earnings to worthwhile charities. Such is the case with Science & Magic, a whimsical collection of synth rock jams produced by Bridavsky at his Russian Recording studio and credited musically to multi-instrumentalist Matt Tobey and Lil BUB. Aside from being a surprisingly fun bit of intergalactic tunage and yet another arm of BUB's media empire, 25-percent of the album's profits will be donated to Lil BUB's Big Fund, her own ASPCA-affiliated charity group benefitting special needs animals. Lil BUB was born with a unique set of genetic anomalies including a shortened lower jaw, toothlessness, and disproportionately sized limbs due to an extreme dwarfism, though none of these handicaps seem to affect her easygoing manner. Her strange catalog of burbling sounds and quirky vocalizations are heard strewn throughout these ten tracks, which stylistically fall somewhere between the Moog Cookbook's loungy space oddities and funky Flaming Lips-style psychedelia. As noted in Andrew W.K.'s amusing liner notes, the album is a "soundtrack to BUB's universal adventure, and a soundtrack to the universe itself." Frequently portrayed as a visitor from another world, Science & Magic plays on BUB's space traveler image with shimmering synth tones and big melodic themes like on the string-laden intro "Hello Earth" and the triumphant single "New Gravity." While a sci-fi-themed album by a celebrity cat is by its very nature a novelty, the music made here by Tobey and Bridavsky is quite enjoyable, and Lil BUB's many admirers will be comforted by the charismatic cooing and extreme purring heard in the breakdowns. ~ Timothy Monger