For context, whether or not it even matters, I am a professional musician and a native Russian speaker was asking me just now about when my love for music first manifested itself. I replied with a lengthy tirade, closing it with a
Так что любовь [к музыке] проснулась рано, а мозги позднее.
And then I read it back and started second-guessing myself. Should it not have been "позже" instead? Is "позднее" even a word? Sounds kinda strange, yet sounds kinda right. Is this a purely stylistic difference? One of register, dialect, age?
Or is this maybe even a widespread thing and there are similar pairings for other adverbs that I should be wary of but never even noticed?