Los Rieleros del Norte

Los Mejores Exitos

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Los Mejores Exitos is Spanish for Greatest Hits, and this 2001 release is exactly that: a collection of los Rieleros del Norte's five-star hits -- specifically, five-star hits that they recorded for Fonovisa. The CD's most experimental track is "Las Hijas de Don Simón," which combines Mexican and hip-hop elements and even finds the Texans doing some rapping. But for the most part, Los Mejores Exitos isn't meant to be experimental or forward-thinking. The disc's nine other tracks are pure, unapologetic, straight-up norteño (as opposed to Tejano or banda), and the combo's outlook is very traditional on gems like "Amor Prohibido," "Que Sacrificio," "Una Aventura," and "El Caballo de Espadas." Clocking in at only 32 minutes, Los Mejores Exitos is definitely skimpy by CD standards; Fonovisa could have easily added another 30-35 minutes' worth of hits. When a band has as much of a track record as los Rieleros del Norte -- who had been together an impressive 22 years when Los Mejores Exitos was assembled in 2001 -- a ten-song, 32-minute CD is bound to be missing some important material. But if Los Mejores Exitos only scratches the surface of los Rieleros del Norte's Fonovisa output, it is a rewarding surface. Every song on this disc is excellent, and every song reminds listeners why the outfit is so highly regarded in the Mexican market. Although Los Mejores Exitos only tells a small part of los Rieleros del Norte's story, it is among the CDs that novices should acquire if they are exploring the group's work for the first time.

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