Hawtin's confessionals appear early on in "Help Yourself," in which a voice chides the musician for his inability to cope with his own inner demons. This understated anguish appears\ elsewhere on the album ("I Don't Know," "Disconnect"), but in its absence the music steps away only slightly from the impressionistic ambience of Consumed. The atmospheric dub effects and unsteady pulses that have defined Hawtin's sound since his debut are still present, the only difference is that they've been given a darker emotional context. Here, they are the soundtrack to one person's isolation, informed, but not restricted, by techno's disembodied rhythm and noise.
At heart, Hawtin is a sonic technician who gets off more on disembodied sounds and atmospheres than he does on melodies and harmonies, so people who were scared of a Moby-style singer/songwriter turn can rest easy. But although he's once again created a challenging collection of charged ambience with Closer, Hawtin has left any questions we might have concerning innovation unanswered.