Moon Safari was met with general acclaim upon its release. John Mulvey, writing for NME, praised Air's "sensitive but tenacious grasp of melody, a laid-back disposition and a reckless way with a Vocoder that makes them unafraid of sounding like a digital ELO," also noting similarities to Garbage on "Sexy Boy" and Beth Hirsch on "All I Need". Entertainment Weekly's Ethan Smith felt that though the album occasionally bears excessive resemblance to Everything but the Girl, "Air leaven it all with a welcome dash of Gallic irony." Pitchfork writer Brent DiCrescenzo remarked that the music would befit "minimalist architecture design, shagging up against a tree in a field of sunflowers, waiting in line for 'Space Mountain,' drinking gin upstairs in a 747 (circa 1974), and '60s Swedish industrial documentaries," adding that though the album is "too cheeky" for everyday listening, it is nonetheless romantic. Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield was more reserved in his praise, praising the album's stylistic range and the instrumental songs but calling the group "obsessive." (Retrospectively in its album guide, Rolling Stone awarded the album 4.5 stars.) Likewise, Spin's Jeff Salamon felt that though the album's pathos is "heartening", the music lacks irony.