The title seems to announce that "Good Times Roll" will be an energetic rock & roll rave-up, but the song is quite the opposite. The lyrics dissect the idea of being a party animal in the most withering style imaginable: "Let the good times roll/Let them knock you around/Let the good times roll/Let them make you a clown." The melody avoids the bright, up-tempo feel of the pop/rock style the title hints at in favor of a creepy, mid-tempo feel: the verses have a languid style that gives them an almost psychedelic edge and the chorus reaches for high notes that give it a desperate tinge. This creepy feel also pervades the Cars' recording of "Good Time Roll": starting with the ominous throb of an electronic drum and almost atonal guitar riff, it quickly adds Ocasek's clinical vocal and sleek layers of electronics to achieve a mid-tempo feel that is the antithesis of good-time rock & roll. However, it does retain some pop hooks, the best being Greg Hawkes' swooping synth lines and the catchy interplay between Ocasek's lead and the background vocals. As a result, it didn't fare as well as the singles that preceded it (it didn't break the Top 40), but it became a radio favorite for disc jockeys in search of credible new wave sounds. It pops up periodically on classic rock radio and provides a solid reminder of the Cars' ability to mix pop hooks with thoroughly trenchant irony.