Brace yourself, says Kyle Anderson at Entertainment Weekly. This year's Grammy Awards features roughly "957 performers and will last four years." The statement is only slightly hyperbolic: Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, Kelly Clarkson, Tony Bennett, and Alicia Keys are among the 30 entertainers booked to sing at the show (so far). As for the actual awards, Kanye West leads the pack with the most nominations (7), followed closely by Adele, Bruno Mars, and the Foo Fighters, who have six nods apiece. Here, 5 reasons commentators are hyping Sunday's telecast as music's biggest night yet:
1. Adele will make her triumphant comeback
Adele's hit album 21 may have spent the last five months atop the Billboard charts, but the "Rolling in the Deep" singer hasn't performed publicly since undergoing microsurgery on a benign polyp on her vocal chords in November. That makes Sunday's Grammy Awards her big comeback. "With nothing more than a piano, a little black dress, and a microphone," says Stephanie Goldberg at CNN, the British super-chanteuse has a history of bringing down the house with her awards-show performances — as proven at the BRIT Awards in February 2011 and again at August's MTV Video Music Awards. "For it to be my first performance in months is very exciting and of course nerve-wracking," Adele said in a statement.
2. And sweep the awards
Adele isn't just poised to steal the show, says Jeremy Egner at The New York Times. She's expected to win all six awards for which she's nominated, including the top trifecta: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. The blockbuster sales for 21 combined with its "across-the-board appeal [to] hipsters and soccer moms alike" make Album of the Year Adele's award to lose, says Katie Hasty and Melinda Newman at HitFix. "Rolling in the Deep" is a flawless track that may be "the biggest crossover tune in 25 years." There's no way it won't earn Adele both Record and Song of the Year (the latter goes to songwriters).
3. Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys will reunite
The surviving members of the Beach Boys — Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks — will reunite for their first performance together in roughly two decades on Sunday. In and of itself, that would be exciting news, says Anderson. Baffling, however, is the decision to have pop-rockers Foster the People ("Pumped Up Kicks") perform alongside them. This "has the potential to be both a blissfully memorable celebration of great music or a complete and utter train wreck."
4. Chris Brown will perform at the event that "nearly destroyed his career"
The confounding collaborations don't stop at the Beach Boys & Co., says Gil Kaufman at MTV. The implausible roster of Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, DJ David Guetta, the Foo Fighters, and techno-electronica producer Deadmau5 will all participate in what's being touted as "the show's first-ever salute to dance music." But the bigger news is the return of Chris Brown to the Grammy stage three years after he was arrested for domestic assault after hitting then-girlfriend Rihanna on the way to the ceremony. Though the R&B star has spent the last three years on something of a goodwill tour, some people "are still unwilling to forgive Brown for the assault that took place, and they don't think he should be allowed anywhere near a stage of this magnitude," says Mack Rawden at Cinema Blend.
5. There will be a host for the first time in 7 years
The Grammy Awards haven't had an official host in seven years. Enter LL Cool J. The rapper-turned-NCIS: Los Angeles star will emcee the ceremony — receiving a promotion of sorts, says Lisa de Moraes at The Washington Post, considering that LL has gamely hosted the "thankless" Grammy Nominations Concert Live! special since 2008. While his agreeable presence should moves things along nicely, the gig may end up being just as thankless. "Let's face it, more than any other major televised trophy show, this one isn't about the house… It's about the performances."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Alien conspiracy theorists think the government is on the verge of spilling big secrets
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- Chuck Hagel wasn't the problem. It's America's addiction to endless war.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week