Bring It Back received positive reviews from music critics. Tim Sendra of AllMusic gave high praise to the duo's evolving musicianship for having additional instruments into their established blueprints and crafting tracks that are both catchy and contain deep intricacies, concluding that "Mates of State started off their career as a kind of curiosity (no guitars!) but have grown into the kind of group where you can't wait to see what they will do next, even if it is only to release records like Bring It Back that strengthen and perfect their formula." Noel Murray of The A.V. Club also praised the musical chemistry of Gardner and Hammel's talents for creating songs that transcend the given genre and allow for certain elements to showcase their depth, concluding that "Bring It Back isn't exactly a set of love songs, but a song like the punchy "Punchlines," with its shifting tempos and call-and-response verses, definitely celebrates the sound of two voices working alone, and working as one." Sam Ubl of Pitchfork Media praised the duo's songs for containing various combinations of instrumentations, lyrics, genres and vocal tones that showcase their fullest musical capabilities, saying that the "Organ-and-drums duo gingerly lift the moratorium on six-strings and explore a more varied sonic palette, resulting in their best album to date." Christian Hoard of Rolling Stone praised the duo's vocal work over various types of love songs, saying that "Plucky, precious and sometimes cloying, their fourth album unfolds like a fussed-over valentine."