Mojo called the album "Certainly the most polished of his catalogue".Alternative Press called it "[one] of the most beautiful and melancholy albums ever recorded".
David Hepworth described "At the Chime of a City Clock" as "the perfect soundtrack for the dispensing of a cup of tea in a polysytrene cup, marrying sound and image in a way that made me unsure whether I was watching a commercial or actually in a commercial."
Andrew Means of the Melody Maker wrote on 13 March 1971 that "This is a difficult album to come to any firm conclusion on. For one thing the reaction it produced depends very much on the mood of the listener. It's late-night coffee'n'chat music. Them tracks are all very similar - quiet, gentle and relaxing. Nick Drake sends his voice skimming smoothly over the backing."