Single Review: Brandy Clark, “Love Can Go to Hell”

“Love Can Go to Hell”
Brandy Clark

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.

Grade: A


  1. I can’t agree with this review more. For the last song reviewed, my comment was “ho-hum”. “WOW” is more appropriate here. Love the song. love her voice. Love the album. My wife and I play it frequently and we still play “12 Stories”. I don’t listen to country radio but a close friend of mine who does says that he rarely hears a Brandy Clark song. What a shame.

  2. She is my favorite female country singer, writer, artist! From songs like: I Cried to Hold My Hand to Three Kids and No Husband. She should be ringing out on every country station. We are starved for this kind of music nowadays. She’ll be at the top soon! Guaranteed!

  3. Absolutely can’t understand why Brandy is not played by country stations. Everyone I know who hears her songs is wild about her. She has a great voice and her songs are great little stories.

  4. Makes 90% of what’s on country radio sound like a joke. Songs like this, and artists like her, are a reminder that it doesn’t have to be this way.

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