“Love Can Go to Hell”
Written by Brandy Clark and Scott Stepakoff
Country radio could cure most of its ails through two simple steps: adding more songs written by Brandy Clark into heavy rotation, and adding Brandy Clark herself into heavy rotation.
Two birds, one stone sound tempting? Just add “Love Can Go to Hell,” the second single from Clark’s excellent sophomore set, Big Day in a Small Town.
Clark remembers the cardinal rules that made so much nineties music memorable, particularly from the dominant female artists and writers of the time. First, write a memorable song with believable characters and clearly expressed emotions. Second, craft a production that supports the vocalist instead of overpowering her. And third, don’t let said vocalist get in the way of the song that she is singing.
“Love Can Go to Hell” captures the ways that love can go wrong with incisive, insightful accuracy, detailing how “every day is just another night by myself,” and the need to find someone – or in this case, something to blame. “Heaven knows I only wish you well,” she sings, “But love? Love can go to hell.”
As with most songs from Clark, there isn’t a single moment that rings untrue, or a single line that chooses to be clever at the expense of being heartfelt. Listening to it is like getting a window into an alternate timeline of country music, where quality and talent still reign supreme. I can’t recommend it highly enough.