A month prior to the album's release, Ryan Adams, who helped produce the record, was accused by several women of sexual misconduct. After the album was released, Lewis told Pitchfork: "The allegations are so serious and shocking and really fucked up, and I was so sad on so many levels when I heard, I hate that he's on this album, but you can't rewrite how things went. We started the record together two years ago, and he worked on it — we were in the studio for five days. Then he pretty much bounced, and I had to finish the album by myself."
On the Line was met with widespread critical acclaim.The Daily Telegraph called it "a smart, swaggering break-up album from a major talent", while The Independent said Lewis "adds a California sheen to melancholy and nostalgia".Robert Christgau was somewhat less impressed in Vice, giving it a three-star honorable mention. He said Lewis, "the rare 21st-century singer-songwriter whose level of craft renders her good enough for 76-year-old master drummer Jim Keltner", "loses the spring in her step that made her so 21st-century by proving it", naming as highlights the title track, "Rabbit Hole", and "Dogwood".