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“21st Century (Digital Boy)” is a song written by Brett Gurewitz from the punk rock group Bad Religion. It was originally recorded in 1990 on their fifth full-length studio album Against the Grain and re-recorded on the 1994 album Stranger Than Fiction.

 

The lyrics of the song could be interpreted as a rejection of modern consumerism/consumerist culture, as exemplified in the lyrics “I’m a 21st Century Digital Boy/I don’t know how to live, but I’ve got a lot of toys”. This alienation and rejection of consumerism and mainstream culture is a common theme in the music of Bad Religion. The bridge includes references to the group’s two previous records (as of the original recording), Suffer and No Control. It is possible the song is at least a respectful parody of “21st Century Schizoid Man”, a song by progressive rock legends King Crimson. Towards the end of the Bad Religion song, lyrics from King Crimson’s song are sung in the background:

 

Cat’s foot iron claw
Neuro-surgeons scream for more
Innocents raped with napalm fire

 

Although the Against the Grain version did not receive radio airplay when it was released, the Stranger Than Fiction version was a popular hit. The song was covered in 2006 as “21st Century Digital Girl” by German trance/dance group Groove Coverage.

 
~ Courtesy of Wikipedia

 

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