With 1984's Discovery, Mike Oldfield seems to be back on track, utilizing the vocal power of Maggie Reilly and the drum playing of Simon Phillips to create some rather appealing selections. "The Lake" is a simply gorgeous instrumental inspired by Switzerland's Lake Geneva, the location in which the album was recorded, while "To France" is a powerful pop/rock tune based on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. Both Reilly and Barry Palmer share the vocal duties throughout the tracks, signifying Oldfield's subtle emergence into a more pop-infused atmosphere. "Tricks of the Light" is a wonderful instrumental that relies on the keyboard to give it energy, while even so-so efforts like the title track and "Poison Arrows" come off as upbeat and inspired. Discovery peaked at number 15 in the U.K., and even though it didn't garner much attention elsewhere, it serves as one of Mike Oldfield's most entertaining releases from the decade.
by Mike DeGagne