Over the past five years, Girard's focus has slowly shifted from acting to music. Combining his father's knack for poetry (his dad is writer James Preston Girard) with his own musical instincts, Girard began writing songs between auditions and slowly built up a list of originals while busking at open-mic nights. Since releasing a five-track demo in 1999, Girard has been putting music first.
Although Simple Life represents a step forward in a budding career, it lacks conviction -- Girard still comes off like an actor playing a role. The talent's there -- he ranges from edgy shuffles to driving rock -- but the all-encompassing sense of personal involvement that dominates the best singer-songwriter work is conspicuously absent. In other words, Girard needs to open up his own simple life to a few more complications.