"The Baby" was the first single from the album. This song spent three weeks at Number One on the Billboard country charts in early 2003, becoming Shelton's second Number One hit. Unlike with his debut album, the second and third singles from The Dreamer did not peak as highly: "Heavy Liftin'" peaked at number 32, and "Playboys of the Southwestern World" at number 24.
Robert L. Doerschuk of Allmusic rated the album three stars out of five, saying, "Rough, rawboned energy drives Blake Shelton's sophomore release[…]the problem lies more with the material, which represents the doldrum state of songwriting in music city." Ray Waddell of Billboard thought that the album's variety of material made it "broader than its predecessor", contrasting the "muscular" "Heavy Liftin'" to the "impressive passion" on "The Baby", although he criticized the production of "Asphalt Cowboy".