Electr-O-Pura received very positive reviews from music critics. Steven Mirkin, writing for Entertainment Weekly, commented: "Combining homespun charm, critical sophistication, and a fan's enthusiasm, Yo La Tengo sounds like a well-adjusted Velvet Underground. Electr-O-Pura's songs run the gamut from loopy pop to pensive folk to flat-out weird; their unpretentious honesty brings them together into a musically and emotionally satisfying whole." In 1996, the album was ranked at number 9 in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics' poll for 1995. Similarly, Spin placed the album at number 11 on their list of the "20 Best Albums Of '95".