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With Late Style, Wesley Stace, the artist formerly known as John Wesley Harding, has done things differently. Having begun to put some new lyrics to music, in his usual way, singing to an acoustic guitar, he realized he was coming up with old solutions, reinventing a wheel he had already made, with chord progressions and melodies that worked as folk and pop songs but were not satisfying his desire for something fresh, something he'd be excited to listen to in 2021. So, he turned to David Nagler, the musical director of his portable variety show, the Cabinet of Wonders, to be the Rodgers to his Hart, the Elton to his Bernie, the Bachrach to his David. Late Style is influenced by artists like Mose Allison, Carla Bley, Nina Simone, Bob Dorough, Steely Dan, Harry Nilsson, Gil Scott-Heron, The Bee Gees, Tom Lehrer, The Carpenters, and even The Partridge Family, without imitating them, so the songs feel modern and "modern" all at once. You can call them uneasy easy listening-smooth, but oddly shaped, with surprising harmonic changes and rhythmic angles. They have the paradoxical flavor of having been written to be hits without any thought of having hits at all.