"No Such Thing" is the first commercially released single by John Mayer from his first album, 1999's Inside Wants Out. Like many of the songs from Mayer's early musical career, the song was co-written with Clay Cook.
The song might be sung from the perspective of a high-school student who will soon graduate. He is frustrated with the "typical" path of high school, college and career that the adults in his life endorse. He plans to follow his path to reach his dreams. The song's refrain echoes this:
They love to tell you
Stay inside the lines
But something's better
On the other side
He feels his classmates don't understand. At the end of the song, he proclaims "I just can't wait 'til my 10 year reunion; I'm gonna bust down the double doors And when I stand on these tables before you You will know what all this time was for."
However, if this song was indeed written in 1999, Mayer would have already graduated 4 years earlier being 22 and thus been a reflection on common cliches in his life. At this point in his life, Mayer had already started his career as a famous musician.
Billboard said of the song's vocals, lyrics and melody, "What's not to love?" Jason Thompson with PopMatters...