Victor Wood

Ihilak

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In 1974, Philippine male singer Victor Wood released Ihilak. Eleven of the album's 12 songs are Philippine folk/love songs sung in the Visayan dialect (the Visayas region is the central group of islands in the Philippines). The remaining song uses the melody of Neil Diamond's "Song Sung Blue," but replaces the original English lyrics with those of the Visayan dialect. The album opens with the tender "Ihilak," which moves in a slow, shuffle-like pace. Victor Wood sings "Ihilak" with depth and tenderness, and puts much warmth into his voice. "Ihilak" tells of a man's despair for the loss of his love: "What is the real reason/You just forgot good memories/You left me/I did not abandon my love for you." The following song, "Gugma Ko," uses the melody of Neil Diamond's '60s hit "Song Sung Blue" over new lyrics in the Visayan dialect, which tell about a man offering love to a girl during courtship. "Hain Nang Panumpa Mo" (Where Is Your Promise) tells of another love affair that left a man with a broken heart. Most of the songs are performed in a mournful minor key and have a mournful tone in both the melody and lyrics. The opening melody of the slow-paced "Mahimong Biya-an Mo Ako," for example, sounds as though it belongs at a funeral, but is about a love that went wrong. "Ika-Duhang Bathala" (The Second God) is a pretty, tender song. "Tuba" (Wine) isn't about love, but is about wine that some people are enjoying. The song uses a folkish, polka-like rhythm that has an appealing quality. This album is very different for Victor Wood, who often performs remakes of American songs, but the difference is very much appreciated.

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