Three songs from Even if It Kills Me were released as singles. The first, "Broken Heart", was released three months before the album as a digital download on June 26, 2007. "This Is for Real" was released as the second single on August 7, 2007, in the US and on September 3 in the UK. It was released digitally, on CD and on limited edition 7" vinyl, and included three different B-sides; "Not Asking You to Leave", an acoustic version of "Broken Heart" (featuring Korin Louise Cox of The Hard Lessons) and a cover version of the Lifter Puller song "Plymouth Rock". The band shot a video for "This Is for Real" in Southern California in August 2007, which was premiered on mtvU.com on September 10. The third single, "It Had to Be You", was released in early 2008, with a stop motion music video accompanying it.
Even if It Kills Me received a metascore of 68 on aggregrator Metacritic, indicating generally favorable reviews from six critics.Spin endorsed the album, saying, "Motion City have deftly filled that space between emotional adolescence and responsible adulthood with this set of near-perfect pop."The New York Times reviewer Kelefa Sanneh commended the record. "Together they made an album that sounds like one long sugar rush, and so long as the rush lasts, it sounds pretty great." He praised singer Justin Pierre who he says "never sounds better than when he’s rushing from an overwritten verse into a perfectly simple refrain."Allmusic's Andrew Leahey also praised Pierre, saying he "is the star of this album". Leahey said the departure of Blink-182 from the fray could have prompted Motion City Soundtrack to become "the genre's new torchbearers". He went on to state that the band's "dedication to the pop genre... with roots in something harder" is a trait that could also be attributed to The Cars, of which one of the album's producers Ric Ocasek, was the frontman. He declared the band's choice to use three producers avoided "that nebulous point on Memory and I Am the Movie where the albums' final tracks begin to suffer from being so similar to their predecessors... There's no lull here, just fast-paced fun". However, entangled with the positivity, Leahey did observe the album's tendency to "consciously aim for commercial acceptance, but rarely at the expense of the quirks and literate lyrics that first endeared Motion City Soundtrack to its fans."
Alternative Press gave the album 3/5 and was dismayed by it being too much of the same, saying "Much of the disc is business as usual." Andy Greenwald of Blender rated the album 3/5 also. "Every generation needs a Weezer... and Motion City Soundtrack is the Weezer of emo." He was indifferent when it came to scrutinising Pierre, saying he "is a savvy melodic songwriter and, refreshingly, he’s completely incapable of taking himself seriously," noting an unusual lyric from the "bouncy standout 'It Had to Be You.'"Popmatters' reviewer Colin McGuire alluded numerous times to the simplicity the band exhibits that makes them appealing; "it’s their honestly simple lyrics that make Minneapolis’s most interesting five-piece so attractive," and "It’s no secret that it’s MCS’s inconsolably simplistic wit that has made them cult heroes." He rated the album 6/10; summing up in saying the "album has proven its loyalty to the sound that gained Motion City Soundtrack it’s legion of fans—colorful pop-punk led by a guy with tremendous hair singing about his heart being broken."