When connoisseurs of regional Mexican music are trying to explain norteño to non-Mexican listeners, they compare the polka-influenced, accordion-powered style to everything from gangsta rap to country -- gangsta rap because of all the narcocorridos (corridos about drug trafficking north and south of the United States/Mexico border) that los Tigres del Norte, Grupo Exterminador, and the late Chalino Sanchez are known for, country because of all the rural imagery, cowboy attire, and melancholy tales of heartbreak and unrequited love. And the country/honky tonk comparison certainly applies on Y Que el Mundo Ruede, which is another excellent album from the long-running norteño institution known as los Rieleros del Norte. This 2005 release is full of melancholy lyrics -- full of lágrimas y tristeza (tears and sadness) -- and los Rieleros once again remind you that emotions run deep in norteño music. This 12-song disc ranges from material by longtime Rieleros saxman Eugenio "Pemo" González to no less than six songs by Mexican pop superstar Juan Gabriel: "Ya No Me Vuelvo a Enamorar," "Cuando Decidas Volver," "Fue Un Placer Conocerte," "Se Me Olvido Otra Vez," "Tenias Que Ser Tan Cruel," and "Que el Mundo Ruede." Gabriel is not a norteño artist; his specialty is romantic Latin pop -- Latin adult contemporary, if you will -- and the male vocalists he is typically compared to include José José, Julio Iglesias, Joan Sebastían, and Marco Antonio Solís. But Gabriel has mariachi and ranchera influences, and his songs don't necessarily have to be performed in a pop fashion. In fact, they can easily lend themselves to a straight-up norteño arrangement, which is exactly what happens on this rewarding CD. Y Que el Mundo Ruede is yet another album that la Máquina Musical Norteña Número Uno can be proud of.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson