Honestly stating our shortcomings can be the first step in making improvements. That also has the potential to go either way – we can find ourselves paralyzed by the long list of adjustments we see are needed in our habits and actions, or we can identify a single change or two to make and find sustainable progress.
“We all know what we should do / Instead we stay the same, not change,” sings Ryan Thomas Smelle, a singer-songwriter based in the Niagara region of Ontario, in the first verse of the most recent single from his “In the Homestretch” album. He continues, “Is there really someone else to blame?”
It’s an “old new song,” written by Smelle more than two decades ago. That does seem fitting – the jangly tune lopes along in a way that is reminiscent of acoustic pop tunes of the early 2000s, evoking the laid-back but thoughtful songs of Jack Johnson & Jason Mraz. The fingerpicked acoustic guitar gently dances over a simple and tasteful bass line that forms the spine of the song. The tune clocks in at a trim 2 minutes 34 seconds – it makes its point quickly.
“Easier Said Than Done” is unpretentious and frank about the struggle to check all the boxes and get every day right. It has the feel of a reflection on New Year’s resolutions made months ago and not fulfilled. But it can also serve as a statement of the way things have been, and not as a resignation to that state of affairs as the way it will always be. After all, life consists not just of big decisions, but also of the thousands of small decisions that form a life.