Look to the Sky was released on 18 September 2012 in the US and 24 September 2012 in the UK, with "To Who Knows Where" acting as the lead single supporting the album release. Due to the albums prior Japanese release date in March, it is noted that the track listing has been amended to accommodate an international UK/US release.
The album has mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 54, based on 9 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews."
Allmusic critic Matt Collar gave a positive review, writing: "If Let It Come Down was Iha's sun-dappled West Coast folk-rock break from the creative turmoil and personal squabbles of the Pumpkins, then Look to the Sky is his more austere, if no less captivating, look back from the sun and toward the dark moon of his alt-rock '90s past."Chicago Sun-Times' Thomas Conner thought that "Iha shows up with this well-written, beautifully played set as a gentle reminder of his talent."Mojo critic Fred Dellar thought that on the album, Iha "shaped some additional, more diverse sounds" while retaining the melodic approach of his debut. Enio Chiola of PopMatters described the album as a "beautiful and calming record."Seattle Post-Intelligencer reviewer Charlie Doherty stated that "this new effort sees the ex-Pumpkin guitarist branch out and take in a myriad of other influences."
DIY critic Martyn Young regarded the album as "a something of a missed opportunity" and "a largely uninspiring record that preaches very much to the converted." Tom Howard of NME thought the album was "intriguing, but unsatisfying," while Pitchfork's Ian Cohen criticized the album, describing the tracks as "bafflingly outdated alt-rock songs that could comfortably sidle between choice cuts from Marcy Playground and Semisonic and get their asses handed to them."Kerrang! wrote: "He goes from pretty ditties to outright tedium as songs drag on interminably and eventually, unlistenably."