In an interview, Felix Buxton stated that the album Scars were all the things that the band had been through emotionally and physically. Felix told Rolling Stone Australia they named the album after he was mugged for his bicycle in Brixton, London in 2008. He revealed: "I wasn't badly hurt, but it scared me. It's probably one of the scariest moments of my life. Scars are the things that stay with you and that incident definitely gave me one."
The album was given a score of 69 out of 100 from Metacritic based on 19 reviews, a much lower score than their first three albums.URB wrote, "if you're wondering what electronic music is missing, look no further: Scars should serve as a reminder (if you needed one) that Basement Jaxx are an essential piece of the puzzle."
David Jeffries of AllMusic wrote: "there's nothing here you could write off as true filler, but that perfect flow that made their masterpieces so thrilling is missing", but ended by calling it "a worthwhile throwback to the freak attitude that kicked off their career over a decade earlier." Matthew Perpetua of Pitchfork gave the album a rating of 7.2 out of 10 and called the album "evidence of true artistic growth", but noted that "[the] successes share space with creative cul-de-sacs and uninspired genre exercises".PopMatters' Evan Sawdey wrote that "though the Jaxx will continue to rack up left-field hits and critical acclaim for years to come, both Scars and Crazy Itch Radio show that the group's innovative streak has come to an end." He noted that "though they can still produce utterly awe-inspiring tracks now and then (could 'Raindrops' been created by anyone else but the Jaxx?), it appears that Basement Jaxx are struggling under the pressure to come up with another stone-cold masterpiece". In his Consumer Guide, Robert Christgau gave the album a two-star honorable mention and stated that it's "As good as their cameos as usual, led by Yo Majesty, Yoko, and Ms. Paloma Faith, who is clearly worthy of domestic consumption", while picking out two songs from the album, "Twerk" and "Day of the Sunflowers (We March On)".