If Jeff Lynne buys a copy of Brendan Benson's My Old Familiar Friend, he'll kick himself wondering how he didn't write "Eyes On The Horizon" first. He'll call is lawyer when he hears "Garbage Day."
"Garbage Days" doesn't echo a particular ELO composition so much as it borrows from the formula Lynne built in the '70s. This is a pop song with a bit of retro rock and a string arrangement, with just the slightest touch of Motown/disco thrown in for good measure. The string arrangement has this mix of shopping mall organ melodies and muzak schmaltz that screams '70s. Even Benson's vocal winks at Lynne!
Benson's clever wordplay is on display in "Garbage Day." As the song opens, Benson is describing a woman who lies and is untrustworthy and man sleeping alone, waiting to be rescued from loneliness, bringing us to a brilliant chorus:
If she throws her heart away
I'll be there on garbage day
To sift through what's left, I guess
To sort through the loneliness
And I don't mind if all the neighbors can see me
I'll take whatever I can get when I can it, it's that easy
If we believe Benson that this woman is a liar, she's no bargain and neither is her would-be pursuer, waiting for her to get dumped so he can swoop in and get her on the rebound. Gee, what could go wrong? How could such a doomed potential coupling sound this good?