Heather Phares of Allmusic writes that I Break Chairs "proves that [Damien Jurado] can rock with the best" and the music is "emotionally deep as it is musically diverse". Andy Cockle of Dusted writes that Jurado "displays his golden throat, though the setting seems a bit different" and that the addition of his backing band, Gathered in Song, "allows Jurado to create hopeful pop after providing us with several albums of harrowing solitude". Brad Haywood of Pitchfork Media laments "Jurado's prior three releases was honest, introspective, moody, sometimes peppy and sometimes heartbreaking. The new Jurado is none of those things" and "a return to normalcy would be welcome". Colleen Delaney of Stylus writes "it's too hard to compare I Break Chairs to anything because it's got that sort of timeless quality to it" and "it's bringing me back to the salad days [of indie pop] of 1992, 1993".