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Petits Fours

Grand DuchyAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Price: $13.78 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 2009 $8.91  
Audio CD, 2009 $13.78  

Amazon's Grand Duchy Store


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Image of Grand Duchy


Debut album Petits Fours (COOKCD482)
Released 16th February 2009

Once upon a time, Violet and I went into the studio together for a day as an experiment, and we came out that night with "Fort Wayne".

A leaked version seemed to please others, and so we decided to continue the "experiment". We decided that, while we were not expert players on ... Read more in Amazon's Grand Duchy Store

Visit Amazon's Grand Duchy Store
for all the music, photos, and 1 full streaming song.

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Petits Fours + Let the People Speak + Christmass
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 14, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blackseal
  • ASIN: B001TN13I0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,077 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Come On over To My House
2. Lovesick
3. Fort Wayne
4. Seeing Stars
5. Black Suit
6. The Long Song
7. Break The Angels
8. Ermesinde
9. Volcano!

Editorial Reviews

A joint venture between Violet Clark and Black Francis from The Pixies containing driving bass line and a healthy dose of synth. Excellent vocals from Clark alongside trademark guitar squals from Francis.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand Album! May 24, 2009
Format:Audio CD
Frank Black and his wife, Violet Clark have released an incredible album of heavy electro dream pop, if you can fathom that from Mr. Black but Violet plays bass and synth and has a voice that falls somewhere between Emily Haines and Kim Deal, not as cloyingly innocent as Haines, not as barmaid too long Deal, but with an earthy sweetness that will blow you away on all the songs she sings lead.

This album is from top to bottom a great collection of synth pop bliss, with Black's gravelly voice and searing guitar accentuating the electronics so nicely it will blow you away.

It might very well be his most listenable album ever. Don't know where Violet Clark came from but her marriage to Frank brought out the best in him.

Let's just hope this continues...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fruitful Collaboration May 26, 2009
Format:Audio CD
Frank Black is known for stream of consciousness lyrics punctuated with pulsating, disonant guitar tirades. In this collaboration with Violet Clark, Black has subordinated his assaultive tendencies to something rather evocative, even intimate while still retaining that trademark rogueish virility.

It is a remarkable departure yet it works superbly owing in large part to Ms. Clark's agile vocals, at times sensual, at times girlishly vulnerable, and her expressive, never excessive hand on the synthesizer. Violet Cark is a beguiling new talent and one can only hope that she and her iconic husband will revisit the musical terrain they have cultivated so fruitfully in this collection.

The 80's expired in a mire of pretention and baroque excess but Grand Duchy's use of certain 80's tropes has produced a collection of intensely imaginative yet visceral songs that will satisfy fans who want to rock as well as those who would rather sit back, listen and let their imaginations soar.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seeing Stars Again August 11, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am a long time Black Francis fan from the entire Pixies catalog through the Frank Black solo years up until about 2003. Frank Black's solo recordings started to become somewhat redundant and uninspired for me at that point. After the two-album release of "Black Letter Days" and "Devil's Workshop" in 2002, the recordings to follow seemed to lose my interest. I stopped paying attention for a number of years as to what he was doing and releasing. Though I was a bit late to catch on, my love was rejuvinated with the release of Black Francis first solo record "Blue Finger" and then the debut of Grand Duchy, his new recording project/band with wife Violet Clark.

Grand Duchy "Petits Fours" is an amazing 9-song album! Black Francis and Violet Clark are brilliant together with songs that are both inspired and fresh yet take me back to early Pixies and Frank Black solo records. My favorite tracks are "Come On Over to My House", "Fort Wayne", "Seeing Stars" and "Break the Angels", which split the lead vocal duties between Francis and Clark. The album also features some cool guitar work and tones by Francis with some killer keyboard/synth parts by Clark.

I have been reborn as a Black Francis fan and can't recommend this album enough!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just Frank Black's latest solo project! June 11, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Grand Duchy is not just Frank Black's latest solo project. Instead, Frank Black merely is a band member of a two-person band headed by Violet Clark (who just happens to be his wife)... and Violet Clark, she is in a word spectacular! Part Madonna, part Kim Deal, part Kristin Hersh, but always Violet Clark, she channels various female alt-rock leaders and pop stars but never imitates them. She's having a great time, and Frank Black and the listeners happily go along for the ride. If it weren't for the fact that the album references a lot of indie music (in a good, self-assured way) instead of presenting something entirely new, I would have rated it five stars. But then again, maybe using that as a criterion would make it impossible to rate an album five stars nowadays. Petit Fours succeeds completely in what it sets out to achieve.

The album starts with Come over to my house and from this you might be lulled into expecting Frank Black to be in charge. He's in fine form, and as usual I love the lyrics. "Come on over to my house / I'll make you buckets of tea". He may be ironic in his songs, but he's always sincere and never pathetic. Violet Clark takes over next, continuing the theme and celebrating love in Lovesick: "Don't stop for breathing / leave it when you're older / Listen to that devil on your shoulder / Don't stop for reasons / be a little bolder / Everybody's got their lovesick seasons."

Fort Wayne is apparently the oldest song on the set list. Pleasant, but not really remarkable in my opinion. It did however rightly raise expectations for the forthcoming album when it was played in concerts.

Their age obviously works for Frank Black and Violet Clark. They're veterans of rock and of love and don't mind showing it on this record.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars finally frank! February 14, 2011
By kent
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Solid album, and it is about time that Frank Black got back in the game personally, and musically. As a huge Pixies fan the only album I like besides this one is Cult of Ray,and he recorded a lot before this. I hope he realizes how lucky he is to have his smoking, talented wife, because she helped him get his alt rock sensibilities back, go muse! May the honeymoon never end.
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