Album Review: Lil BUB, Science and Magic (Yes, she’s a cat)

I’m a big fan of this six degrees of separation lark. A few months ago I was interviewing a cat. Last month I interviewed our Music Editor and now here I am reviewing, for our music editor, an album performed by a cat. It doesn’t come more connected than that. Not in my world anyway.

And speaking of being in one’s own little world, let me introduce you to Lil BUB. You may already know her as one of the most famous cats on the internet… or as a hard-working musician who has collaborated with Andrew W.K, produced a single for Kelley Deal and has had songs written about her by Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock. Well, now she is set to release her debut album, Science & Magic on December 4th, via Joyful Noise. The emphasis in my humble opinion, being on the noise.

Science & Magic is the first full-length album written by a magical space cat. How does she do it? Well, it’s never fully explained – I guess that’s the magic part. Although this fascinating YouTube video goes part of the way to explaining Lil BUB’s creative efforts.

There are ten tracks on the album, ranging from the fairly jolly ‘Hello Earth’, with its techno sound to the almost catatonic (no pun intended, which is unusual for me) final track ‘Rebirth’. Halfway through the album is a track entitled ‘GOOD JOB’ which speaks for itself. It’s uplifting and must have been one of Lil BUB’s proudest moments on the album. I also enjoyed ‘Another Voyage’ – and not just because it stopped abruptly.

The title track, ‘Science & Magic’, lives up to its name. If you close your eyes you can see stars exploding around you. I’m not sure if that’s the magic, the science or just the fact you’ve spent half an hour listening to an album made by a cat. I guess it depends where your beliefs lie.

Just when I was about to classify this as a new age instrumental I’m sure I heard Lil BUB’s voice in ‘Space Sister’. It’s a track with a catchy rhythm that you’ll find yourself nodding along to. I can just imagine Lil BUB chasing a coloured dot across a screen with her paw to the rhythm of the beep. You know the type of screen? The one you’d find in a resuc unit? I can’t think why that came to mind. But this is the track where the album comes back to life. Life imitating art. Lil BUB was probably tired by this time hence the similar vein in sound to the subsequent track ‘Earth Sister’. These reminded me of two popular tunes, one of which I cannot name without having to listen to it numerous times. Not happening. The other is ‘Eye of The Tiger’, which is quite fitting coming from Lil BUB. I’m not suggesting in any way it’s ripped from this, it just has a familiar beat which is quite comforting.

‘Rebirth’, the final track, cleverly sums up the album. It brings a sense of calm in a paradoxical way; rather like listening to a dripping tap. It wants to drive you mad, yet it’s strangely soothing. I suggest you give it a listen – on shuffle, if possible – so that you get a good mix of the tracks.

This album, a ‘soundtrack to BUB’s universal adventure’ is currently available to pre-order, with 500 VIP copies that feature BUB’s face, plus special artwork and a signature from BUB. In addition, if you buy the album, 25% of the net profits from the sale will go to Lil BUB’s Big FUND for the American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Remember, ‘if it weren’t for BUB, this music wouldn’t exist.’ Pity, just when I was beginning to get a soft spot for this little kitty. 

Science & Magic, Lil BUB – released on December 4th, 2015.