The album was well received. Jay Cocks in Time wrote that their music "is startling, lacerating and amusing".Robert Christgau's review stated "Robert Fripp's austere production of this witty, pretty music not only abjures alien instrumentation but also plays up the quirks of the Roches' less-than-commanding voices and acoustic guitars. Thus it underscores their vulnerability and occasional desperation and counteracts their flirtations with the coy and the fey. The result is not a perfect record, but rather one whose imperfections are lovingly mitigated." It was voted #11 for the year in The Village VoicePazz & Jop Critics Poll.
It has continued to be highly rated. Allmusic characterized it as a "mischievous and highly original folk blend". And The Rolling Stone Album Guide gave it its classic rating calling it an "unprecedented thrill" that was "spare, loose, pointed" and equating it as the Greenwich Village version of the New York punk explosion.