The first single from the album, "Hey You", was sent to radio stations for airplay on April 7, and was officially released April 10, 2009.
Before the official release date, Uplifter was streamed in full (including the deluxe edition tracks) on the band's MySpace page and was featured on Playlist.com.
Uplifter has received mixed reactions from critics. Andrew Leahey of Allmusic gave it a generally favorable review and said that Uplifter "...[wields] a polished mix of tour-worthy anthems and lighter-hoisting ballads that seem destined to fare better in concert than on record." 
It has received criticism as well. Talking about the lyrics, Laina Dawes of Consequence of Sound said, "...don’t look for any insightful wisdom here. ... Then again, how important are lyrics in this genre, or even this modern day age of Britney Spears and Lady Gaga? In comparison to that schlock, this is pure poetry."
Colin Moriarty of IGN reviewed each of the songs from Uplifter one-by-one. He said that while some show 311 maturing musically, there are still songs for the hardcore fans. Moriarty noted that his favorite song from the album was "Get Down," saying, "311 songs with a message and a hard-hitting rap-rock sound have become increasingly rare since the days of Soundsystem and From Chaos, and Get Down is certainly a welcome addition to Uplifter's roster of songs."
The Record Review noted "that after a couple of somewhat lackluster releases (2003’s Evolver and 2005’s Don’t Tread On Me) and a subsequent extended break, 311 has returned with a record that is full of life."