T1419 have developed a knack for building songs from off-kilter references. First, we had the cosplay-friendly Dracula. Then, there was last year’s Red Light, Green Light (which sort of grew on me, btw). Now, they’re heading to Austria for Edelweiss (에델바이스). The title alone makes me think of The Sound of Music, which would be an odd (and potentially interesting) theme for a K-pop comeback. But, Edelweiss turns out to be a rather rote ballad, perfect for fan service.
Up to this point, T1419 title tracks have tended to be boisterous and rap-heavy. Edelweiss sees the guys sitting-and-singing over a strings-laden instrumental. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the melody in the verses sounds incredibly familiar – maybe B1A4 or Infinite? It’s soft and sugary and nearly drowned out by orchestration. The performance feels a bit hit-and-miss, but this isn’t a group known for their ballads. However, the guys sound great during the chorus, which sees them performing in unison as the instrumental builds toward a crescendo.
Edelweiss is a pop track designed for a specific purpose, which will limit its overall appeal. It’s unabashedly cheesy, and that’s how I tend to like my ballads. But though its familiarity makes it instantly appealing, it also limits its effect. There are so many other songs of this style that pack more punch, and that’s where I’ll head if I’m in the mood for a ballad. Still, I can’t fault Edelweiss for its modest intentions. It feels very targeted to the group’s existing fan base.