The record process started in 2008, after Taylor Momsen met the producer Kato Khandwala and his partner and songwriter Ben Phillips. By the summer of 2009, they felt they had found an authentic sound. Two months before the album's release, the band released the self-titled EP containing four songs expected to appear in the future record. However the song Zombie was not present in the initial track listing, later appearing on the North and South American release.
The album received much more success in the U.K., where it was released months before the American release. The warmer English reception spanned the singles "Miss Nothing" and "Just Tonight", which were not released anywhere else.
The album received a metascore of 74 out of 100 indicating "generally favorable reviews" based on 5 critics. Blare Magazine's reviewer, Leah Beresford, gave it four of five stars and said, "Lyrically, Light Me Up seems to capture the highs and lows of one’s existence, as well as everything in between like being courageous and empowering and expressing pain". The website Review Rinse Repeat heavily criticized the lyrics, but praised Momsen's vocals.
"Make Me Wanna Die" was released on March 30, 2010 in the USA and on May 13, 2010 in the UK. A promotional video was released which features live performances and backstage footage of the band. This video is widely recognized as a viral version and was released on May 13, 2010. The official music video was postponed due to legal issues involving censorship, but premiered on September 15, 2010 on iTunes and VEVO.
"Miss Nothing" was released on August 23, 2010 only in the UK. The music video for "Miss Nothing" was released on July 20, 2010 on VEVO.
"Just Tonight" was released on December 27, 2010 only in the UK after being pushed back from November 9. It was confirmed on Radio 1 future releases. The Music Video was released on VEVO on November 2.
The music video for "You" premiered on VEVO on February 16, 2012, however it did not become a single.
Also the music video for "My Medicine" premiered on March 9, 2012; the kick-off of the band's The Medicine Tour.